City of Spokane releases report on investigation into former SPD - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City of Spokane releases report on investigation into former SPD Chief Frank Straub's resignation

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The City released the report Wednesday morning. The City released the report Wednesday morning.
Former Police Chief Frank Straub (left), Monique Cotton (right) Former Police Chief Frank Straub (left), Monique Cotton (right)
Statement from Spokane City Council Statement from Spokane City Council
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The City of Spokane released a 126-page report on the findings of the investigation into the resignation of former Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub.  The findings come from 50 interviews and thousands of pages of documents.

The reviewer said the former SPD Chief Frank Straub ruled by "fear and intimidation," and that Mayor David Condon intentionally withheld information, delaying the release of records until his re-election. It alleged Mayor Condon and staff "deliberately concealed" former police spokeswoman Monique Cotton's sexual harassment claims against Chief Straub.

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said he was disappointed with the report's findings. 

 “I am deeply concerned that there appears to have been interference with the report,” Stuckart said, expressing disappointment with the changes. “From day one we’ve always wanted the people to know what happened, to correct systemic problems, and move forward as a city.”  

City administrator Theresa Sanders has already released a statement on the report, which says she also intentionally withheld information during the investigation:

“I am angered and troubled by the reviewer’s statement that I intentionally withheld information. She has reached a predetermined conclusion that is inconsistent with the statements and documentation utilized in preparing her report," the statement said.

There are two different versions of the report: one released on July 25th, and one which was released the 26th. The difference between the two documents is on the third page.

In the first copy of the report, released on the 25th there is a paragraph at the top of the third page of documents which reads, "Based on all of the evidence we considered, we conclude that Mayor Condon, Ms. Sanders, Mr. Coddington, and Ms. Isserlis intentionally withheld information from the City Clerk about the existence of the documents at issue with the intent and purpose of delaying the production of those records until after the Mayor’s election. We also conclude that Pat Dalton, the senior assistant city attorney, deliberately delayed the release of the Torok text messages until after Mayor Condon’s re-election."

In the second version of the report, released the next day, that same paragraph says, "Based on all of the evidence we considered, we conclude that Ms. Sanders and Ms. Isserlis intentionally withheld information from the City Clerk about the existence of the documents at issue with the intent and purpose of delaying the production of those records until after the Mayor’s election. We also conclude that Pat Dalton, the senior assistant city attorney, deliberately delayed the release of the Torok text messages without justification until after Mayor Condon’s re-election."

In a statement to the Joint Oversight Committee, the investigative team, led by Kris Cappel, writes that they are amending their findings as to Mayor Condon and Mr. Coddington. The amendment, they say was prompted by a conversation they had with the new City Attorney.

They write, "The conclusion that Mayor Condon and Mr. Coddington withheld information with the purpose and intent of delaying the release of records was based on a preponderance standard, which is a very low threshold of proof (more likely than not). My finding with respect to those individuals was also based entirely on circumstantial evidence, meanin I drew inferences based on other evidence. That is in contrast to my findings regarding Ms. Isserlis, Ms. Sanders, and Mr. Dalton, which is detailed in the report."

Here are copies of the report: 

Report released July 25th: https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/opendata/public-records/2016/07/27/reports/straub-summary-report.pdf

Report released July 26th: https://static.spokanecity.org/documents/opendata/public-records/2016/07/27/reports/straub-summary-report-07-26-2016.pdf

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