Rachel Dolezal responds to misconduct findings in Ombudsman Comm - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rachel Dolezal responds to misconduct findings in Ombudsman Commission investigation

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"I urge the people of Spokane to take a close look at the timing and intentions of the investigation and request for my resignation. " - Rachel Dolezal in response to the report released on Wednesday "I urge the people of Spokane to take a close look at the timing and intentions of the investigation and request for my resignation. " - Rachel Dolezal in response to the report released on Wednesday
SPOKANE, Wash. - On Wednesday, Spokane Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart said an independent investigation confirmed numerous claims of harassment and abuse of power by three members of the volunteer citizen Police Ombudsman Commission. 

The three members identified were Chair Rachel Dolezal, and Commissioners Kevin Berkompas and Adrian Dominguez. Condon and Stuckart called for the resignation of all three members after the report was released, and both said they would most likely be removed from the Commission on Thursday. Stuckart told KHQ on Wednesday that letters were sent all three members informing them of the report's findings and gave them 24 hours to respond. Stuckart said they had heard back from Berkompas and Dominguez, who said they have obtained lawyers and needed more than 24 hours to respond. 

Stuckart said he has personally tried to contact Rachel Dolezal numerous times during the week, but received no response. About an hour after the press conference concluded on Wednesday, Rachel Dolezal released this statement: 

"I am deeply disturbed by the letter I received today from the Mayor and city council president requesting my resignation as chair of the office of police ombudsman commission.

I standby my work on behalf of the citizens of Spokane to further justice and promote civilian oversight of law enforcement.

I am sincerely troubled by the short sided conclusions that have so quickly been made with this report. I urge the people of Spokane to take a close look at the timing and intentions of the investigation and request for my resignation.

I will continue to promote greater transparency and accountability for law enforcement both locally and nationally."

The letter sent out on Wednesday to the three members of the commission reads: 

Dear Commissioners,

On April 16, 2015, a whistleblower complaint was filed against three members of the Office of Police Ombudsman (OPO) Commission. Per the Spokane Municipal Code, an internal committee met to review the complaint and determine whether further action was warranted. This committee was composed of Brian McGinn, Nancy Isserlis, Heather Lowe, and Tim Dunivant. This committee review the complaint and determined, based on their preliminary examination, that it warrant a more thorough investigation.

On May 4 the committee hired Collette Leland and Kammi Mencke Smith of the law firm Winston & Cashatt to perform an independent investigation. This investigation is complete and the report as been published on the City of Spokane's website at https://my.spokanecity.org/news/releases/2015/06/17/whistleblower-report-finds-commissioner-misconduct/

 Please read and review this report. The City Council take concerns of workplace harassment and claims of the creation of a hostile work environment very seriously. We are committed to a transparent, open and functioning OPO Commission. We also take very seriously the vital attributes of every commission: integrity and the maintenance of confidentiality. Our community is in the middle of hiring a new permanent Ombudsman, a process which needs to keep moving forward. Therefore, if you have comments on the report, please provide them to my self, in writing by noon on Thursday June 18th. We will be discussing this situation at a legislative session on Thursday June 18, 2015 at 4:45pm. We may choose to take action authorized by the Spokane Municipal Code at that time. 

Sincerely, 



Ben Stuckart


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