Court backs Commission's decision regarding Mastel - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Court backs Commission's decision regarding Mastel

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash.-- A Superior Court Judge has ruled that members of the Spokane County Civil Service Commission were within their lawful authority when they decided not to immediately terminate Detective Joe Mastel. Instead the commission placed Mastel on unpaid administrative leave.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich fired Mastel, a 13-year year sheriff's office veteran, after he was accused of exposing himself to an Airway Heights barista in 2006. 

The offense occurred while the detective was off-duty; however Knezovich felt the nature of the criminal act made it inappropriate for him to remain a sheriff's office employee.

Superior Court Judge Rebecca M. Baker ruled that the commission's decision to substitute a form of removal rather than Mastel's termination was not arbitrary and capricious, since it was based upon well-explained reasons, which took into consideration his thirteen years of previously exemplary service as well as his admittedly serious and alarming misconduct at the espresso stand.

Baker said the commission was acting within its authority by electing to "remove" Mastel by means of a combination of suspension and forced retirement, rather than to "discharge" him outright.

The court's decision ends Sheriff Knezovich's ability to challenge the civil service commission's decision to overturn Mastel's firing, but he remains steadfast in his belief that the detective's actions were a serious breach of public trust that warranted his firing.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:34 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:34:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>
  • Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:37 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:37:31 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>
  • Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Friday, August 17 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-08-18 01:16:06 GMT

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/