Mayor's news conference - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Mayor's news conference

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick announced they would hold a news conference on Thursday morning to discuss the latest findings in the case of the firefighter who had sex with an underage girl in a northwest Spokane fire station.

KHQ Right Now will provide LIVE streaming video of the news conference Thursday morning beginning at 9 a.m.

Neither would reveal the results of the outside investigation on Wednesday afternoon.  The panel that conducted the investigation has reportedly offered up some recommendations, which will reportedly be discussed in detail Thursday morning.

Two police officers were suspended in the wake of the scandal involving Daniel Ross, who resigned his position with the fire department once the details of his sexual encounter were made public.  Detective Neal Gallion was placed on suspension for two days because he authorized photos of the sexual activity be deleted.  Sergeant Joe Peterson was suspended for three days because he was the on-scene supervisor and ultimately accountable.  The two allowed Ross to delete the pictures in an effort to protect the teenage victim.  They did say, however, that they wish they would have kept the images or the camera as evidence.  In ordering the suspensions, the Deputy Chief noted that prosecutors investigating the incident "found no intent by the officers to impair or obstruct the investigation".

In addition to the disciplinary action, the Police Department announced in July that it would change its policy with regard to similar situations.  The way in which cases similar to the Ross case will be reported up the chain of command within the Department will change in the coming months.  Officers will also likely undergo further training. 

The disciplinary actions were taken nearly a month after Spokane County prosecutors said they would not file charges against anyone connected to the firefighter sex scandal.  Ross admitted to having sex with a 16-year old girl in a Spokane Fire Department fire house.  But prosecutors said, after two criminal investigations, that they did not have enough evidence to warrant charges against Ross.  Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker said they could not recover apparently sexually explicit digital photos taken of the girl because Ross deleted the photographs at the direction of the two Spokane Police investigators.  Police also believe the digital card that was in the camera at the time the pictures were taken had been switched.  But Tucker said that could not be proved.

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