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Spokane's rocky relationship with its police chiefs

Spokane's rocky relationship with its police chiefs

There are high expectations for new police chief Frank Straub to straighten out the department and regain the public's trust. But how did we get to this point?

The problem is that two of the past three chiefs of police have brought controversy to the department, something both Mayor David Condon and the city council hope won't happen this time around.

When the search first began, Condon announced he would go outside of the department to hire a new chief to help straighten out the department; no one within the department, including acting Chief Scott Stephens, would be considered for the position.

It's a course of action that has been tried by past city leaders in recent years.

In 1998, then-City Manager Bill Pupo hired Alan Chertok of Newport News, VA. to be police chief. Chertok's tenure as chief however was just nine months, resigning amidst complaints of his leadership and communication from his officers and an ill-advised comment made to high school students where he suggested that former Spokane Police Chief Terry Mangan, who at the time was working for the FBI, had been considered a suspect in the Spokane Serial Killer investigation.

Straub introduced as Spokane police chief

Straub introduced as Spokane police chief

Flanked by community leaders and members of the Spokane Police command staff, Mayor David Condon formally announced that he has hired Frank Straub to serve as chief of police.

The selection of Straub as chief was first confirmed early Wednesday morning by KXLY4 Reporter Jeff Humphrey.

At the announcement Wednesday afternoon, Condon praised Straub for his unconventional, outside-the-box thinking that appealed to him as a candidate for the chief position.

Mayor Condon said that interim chief Scott Stephens would be staying on as a member of the department's command staff; Straub added he was looking forward to work with Stephens as well.

Within minutes of the announcement that Straub would be the next chief, statements of support came in from across the community, including one from Police Lieutenant Dan Torok, the vice president of the Lieutenants and Captains Association, who said that the association is looking forward to working Straub to rebuild the department.

McMorris Rodgers hosting Spokane town hall meeting

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be in the Spokane area and she wants to hear from the public. 

According to a spokesman for Rep. McMorris Rodgers,  the Congresswoman will be continuing her tour of town hall meetings by hosting a meeting Spokane on Thursday.

The meeting will give citizens a changes to express their opinion on critical issues including jobs, government spending, health care, energy and national security with the Congresswoman. 

The town hall will be at The Lincoln Center located at 1316 N. Lincoln, starting at 6 p.m.

This is just one of many town hall meeting Rep. McMorris Rodgers has done in Eastern Washington. She has hosted open forums in Dayton, Walla Walla, Newport and Republic.

Mahoney: Condon made right choice for Spokane

Mahoney: Condon made right choice for Spokane

Frank Straub has long been seen as the favorite for the chief of police position and Dan Mahoney, the other finalist for the job, said he's sure Mayor David Condon made the right decision for Spokane.

Mahoney, a captain in the San Francisco Police Department, where he's the commander of the Ingleside Police Station, said he received a call Tuesday from Mayor Condon letting him know he'd chosen someone else for the job.

Throughout the search, Mahoney has been extremely open and forthcoming with the community; in fact he was the first to confirm Wednesday that he would not be Spokane's next police chief and that Straub would be filling that role.

Despite not getting this job he really wanted, he holds no ill will towards Spokane or David Condon.

Emerging as one of two finalists in the search last month, when Mahoney was in Spokane for interviews he told panelists the number one job of a police department is public safety, not entitlement.

He went on to cite specific examples of how he would tackle the problem of increased violence in downtown.

Police: Man caught stealing from Diamond pay boxes

A thief was caught stealing money earlier this month from a Diamond parking lot earlier this month. An employee at the 2nd and Stevens lot says they were losing about $100 per day from a man using a coat hanger and tweezers to steal parking money from the pay boxes around Spokane.

Police arrested Troy Holway, 32, around 7 a.m. on August 8 when he was spotted by the parking Diamond employee. The employee recognized him as the thief stealing from other lots as well with the same tools.

At the time of arrest, police learned Holway was carrying a switchblade. Holway was booked for possession of a dangerous weapon and theft.

WSDOT releases quarterly "Gray Notebook" highlighting transportation results

The latest issue of the Gray Notebook is now online showcasing Washington State Department of Transportation’s quarterly results for projects and programs. Over 100 pages of the document cover information on the statewide transportation system from bridge counts, congestion issues and updates on major construction projects.

Instead of just focussing on a bunch of numbers, the director of the strategic assessment, Daniela Bremmer, says they arrange everything in a story format as a form of journalism.

“We want to show transparency and accountability,” Bremmer said. “We are trying to illustrate and show the performance of the things we have responsibility for - the projects and program we are implementing and what the results are.”

The behind the scenes document on the state transportation system caters to different audiences including commuters, public officials and engineers.

Mayor to name Straub police chief

Frank Straub will be named Spokane's next police chief at a 3:30 p.m. press conference Wednesday at City Hall.

Straub arrived at Spokane International Airport shortly after noon Wednesday with his fiance. He had no comment about his hiring.

The other finalist for the job, Captain Dan Mahoney of the San Francisco Police Department, told KXLY4 reporter Jeff Humphrey Wednesday morning that he was informed by the city he was not chosen for the job.

"Unfortunately I wasn't the selection and of course I'm disappointed about it," Mahoney said.

Mahoney added that believes the mayor made his decision based on what's best for the Spokane community.

"I have no doubt it was a very difficult decision for the mayor and I also have no doubt probably he had the best interests of the citizens of Spokane in mind when he made the selection," he said.

Spokane's apparent next police chief also has reservations for a four night stay at the Davenport Hotel.