Judge Getting Paid Thousands To Investigate Administrative Leave - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Judge Getting Paid Thousands To Investigate Administrative Leave Case

KHQ'S KELSEY WATTS: I learned on Monday that the retired federal judge hired to investigate former Interim Police Chief Scott Stephens' administrative leave will be paid up to $10,000. He'll be back in town this week for a second day of interviews, then will submit a report to the city attorney.

The allegation is that Stephens was put on admin leave in December because he was upset about a demotion and threatened to go home and get his weapon. His lawyer says that allegation is absolutely false.

PREVIOUS STORY:

SPOKANE, Wash. - Scott Stephens' attorney, Bob Dunn, told KHQ the circumstances surrounding Stephens' administrative leave go back to the hiring process for current Police Chief Frank Straub.

According to Dunn, Mayor Condon asked Stephens to step in to the role of Interim Chief, and said he would be considered for the permanent position.  However, he never got it.

"The rumor at the time that was swirling around Straub's appointment was that it was a preordained, done deal.  That the mayor had cut an inside deal with Straub and he was the Mayor's choice all along," Dunn told KHQ.

Spokane Mayor David Condon told KHQ that was absolutely not true, and that a number of panels supported Straub throughout the hiring process.

Dunn also said Stephens – and many others – were on a selection committee for police chief candidates, and that his client had voted ‘no confidence' for the final candidates – including Straub.  But now, Straub's his boss.

"We believe that from that point on, it was preordained that they were going to retaliate against Assistant Chief Scott Stephens and that's what they've done," Dunn added.

Dunn said he met with Mayor Condon as recently as Thursday in the ongoing discussions over possible severance packages for Scott Stephens' retirement.  He was demoted from Assistant Chief to Captain at the beginning of the investigation, and is now listed as a Lieutenant.  Dunn says Stephens is received pay at the Lieutenant level while he's on leave, which is a significant difference from Assistant Chief, when he was earning $155,806.56 annually.

Mayor Condon maintains that Stephens is being paid the rate of Assistant Chief.

Mayor Condon is bringing in retired Federal Judge Michael Hogan to investigate the circumstance surrounding Scott Stephens' administrative leave; in essence, he'll investigate the Internal Affairs Investigation that's already been completed within Spokane Police.  His name may sound familiar, as Hogan helped in the resolution of the Otto Zehm matter.  His contract has not been finalized yet, so it's not clear how much his services will cost taxpayers.

It's the first time in Mayor Condon's administration he's brought in an outside investigator for an Internal Affairs matter.  He called it the "most transparent, most effective" way to move forward in a transition process that has been "difficult."

"At the end of the day, the public should judge me, judge Chief Straub and his command staff, on do we have a safer community?" Mayor Condon added.  "At the end of the day, I want a safe community and as we go through this process we need to be fair to our employees, and balance that at the same time with the information needed for our citizens."

PREVIOUS STORY:

SPOKANE, Wash – Former Spokane Police Interim Chief Scott Stephens was placed on administrative leave in late December because of a "false" report he was disappointed over his demotion, and had threatened workplace violence, saying he was "going to go home and come back with his weapon," Stephens' lawyer Bob Dunn told KHQ Tuesday.

However, Dunn says there's "not a sliver of truth" to that accusation.  He says Stephens did have a conversation with a friend acknowledging his disappointment, but that anything beyond that is simply untrue.

Dunn says that report was forwarded on to Police Chief Frank Straub and newly appointed Assistant Chief Craig Meidl. Dunn says Straub wanted Stephens out of the department from the very beginning, and that this false report is retaliation.

This story is developing right now; stay here with KHQ for updates throughout the day.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    Thursday, September 20 2018 9:14 AM EDT2018-09-20 13:14:31 GMT
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
  • Neighbors concerned by abnormal activity at Hays Park in north Spokane

    Neighbors concerned by abnormal activity at Hays Park in north Spokane

    Wednesday, September 26 2018 4:52 AM EDT2018-09-26 08:52:20 GMT

    An ongoing, series of issues at Hays Park is making several residents worried about their safety. "I've been threatened to be shot, to be stabbed, to have my head crushed in, to have my dogs head crushed in," Jon Nolend, a resident living by the park, said. Nolend and his wife, Quinn Rapp, said they're both witnesses and victims to daily disturbances involving narcotics, property crime and harassment. Some instances have resulted in physical confrontations, according to No...

    >>

    An ongoing, series of issues at Hays Park is making several residents worried about their safety. "I've been threatened to be shot, to be stabbed, to have my head crushed in, to have my dogs head crushed in," Jon Nolend, a resident living by the park, said. Nolend and his wife, Quinn Rapp, said they're both witnesses and victims to daily disturbances involving narcotics, property crime and harassment. Some instances have resulted in physical confrontations, according to No...

    >>
  • Good Samaritan uses tourniquet to help save hit-and-run victim in north Spokane

    Good Samaritan uses tourniquet to help save hit-and-run victim in north Spokane

    Wednesday, September 26 2018 2:31 AM EDT2018-09-26 06:31:33 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane security guard never thought he'd have to use a tourniquet, but he still carries it with him just about everywhere he goes. "You never know when you're going to come across something where you could be the guy to help because you know what to do," said John Roach. " I wanted to help the guy and I was able to." Roach was driving on Market Street in north Spokane when he came across the aftermath of a hit-and-run. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane security guard never thought he'd have to use a tourniquet, but he still carries it with him just about everywhere he goes. "You never know when you're going to come across something where you could be the guy to help because you know what to do," said John Roach. " I wanted to help the guy and I was able to." Roach was driving on Market Street in north Spokane when he came across the aftermath of a hit-and-run. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Critters begin crossing animals-only bridge over I-90

    Critters begin crossing animals-only bridge over I-90

    Wednesday, September 26 2018 8:21 AM EDT2018-09-26 12:21:01 GMT

    SEATTLE - Deer have started using an unfinished wildlife bridge over Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. The Northwest News Network reports the Washington State Department of Transportation on Monday celebrated the opening of a section of widened freeway there. The overcrossing is expected to reduce animal-vehicle collisions.  

    >>

    SEATTLE - Deer have started using an unfinished wildlife bridge over Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass. The Northwest News Network reports the Washington State Department of Transportation on Monday celebrated the opening of a section of widened freeway there. The overcrossing is expected to reduce animal-vehicle collisions.  

    >>
  • Neighbors concerned by abnormal activity at Hays Park in north Spokane

    Neighbors concerned by abnormal activity at Hays Park in north Spokane

    Wednesday, September 26 2018 4:52 AM EDT2018-09-26 08:52:20 GMT

    An ongoing, series of issues at Hays Park is making several residents worried about their safety. "I've been threatened to be shot, to be stabbed, to have my head crushed in, to have my dogs head crushed in," Jon Nolend, a resident living by the park, said. Nolend and his wife, Quinn Rapp, said they're both witnesses and victims to daily disturbances involving narcotics, property crime and harassment. Some instances have resulted in physical confrontations, according to No...

    >>

    An ongoing, series of issues at Hays Park is making several residents worried about their safety. "I've been threatened to be shot, to be stabbed, to have my head crushed in, to have my dogs head crushed in," Jon Nolend, a resident living by the park, said. Nolend and his wife, Quinn Rapp, said they're both witnesses and victims to daily disturbances involving narcotics, property crime and harassment. Some instances have resulted in physical confrontations, according to No...

    >>
  • Good Samaritan uses tourniquet to help save hit-and-run victim in north Spokane

    Good Samaritan uses tourniquet to help save hit-and-run victim in north Spokane

    Wednesday, September 26 2018 2:31 AM EDT2018-09-26 06:31:33 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane security guard never thought he'd have to use a tourniquet, but he still carries it with him just about everywhere he goes. "You never know when you're going to come across something where you could be the guy to help because you know what to do," said John Roach. " I wanted to help the guy and I was able to." Roach was driving on Market Street in north Spokane when he came across the aftermath of a hit-and-run. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane security guard never thought he'd have to use a tourniquet, but he still carries it with him just about everywhere he goes. "You never know when you're going to come across something where you could be the guy to help because you know what to do," said John Roach. " I wanted to help the guy and I was able to." Roach was driving on Market Street in north Spokane when he came across the aftermath of a hit-and-run. 

    >>