Ron The Cop

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

April 8th, 2009

Savage Death – RPS barriers meeting “standards” a red herring.

To All:

My professional assessment re the RPS parking barriers, AKA spandrels, meeting “building code/standards” is a red herring as claimed by Co Prosecutor Tucker and others as a justification for not filing criminal charges in Jo Savage’s death in the RPS parking garage.    This reasoning is specious and fallacious as I explain below.

There were multiple barrier failures over the FIFTEEN years preceding Savage’s death.  The owners of the parking garage were fully aware of this imminent public hazard and did nothing to remedy/mitigate this hazard.  What value are building codes and/or standards if they fail to protect the public.  The barriers were failing even whether they met standards “as designed” or “as built.”

. . . if the barriers are presumed to meet any standard, they have failed numerous times and Savage died.  The “standards” are meaningless if they fail to protect the public.  Mind you two cars broke barriers and were left hanging precariously on their undercarriages in the 1990s.    This is a ruse.  At some point “common sense” must kick in – the barriers are failing. [my emphasis]

Mr. Tucker’s finding that there was “insufficient evidence” to prove this case beyond “a reasonable doubt” is a self-fulfilling prophecy of Mr. Tucker’s own doing.   There was no complete and thorough criminal investigation that was taken to its logical conclusion that could have gathered the necessary evidence to meet the criminal reasonable doubt standard.  Mr.  Tucker and others structured the investigation and review of Savage case so that probative questions were not asked that could have implicated the owners.   Mr. Tucker refused to empanel a grand jury to compel testimony from complicit and/or intimidated witnesses who may have provided the lacking evidence.  I agree with Steve Eugster this “investigation was a “sham” and a “whitewash.”

Ron the Cop

[See the following email discussion]

On Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 1:16 AM,  wrote:

Ron: So what is the opinion now of your insiders re: no code violation? Berne.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: rocketsbrain
Date: Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: No Code Violation


FYI – This is my initial assessment of what we have just witnessed with Tucker’s decision not to file any criminal charges in the Savage manslaughter case.  I am sharing my assessment in the open.  Our law enforcement community failed to do their job that WE THE PEOPLE have empowered them to do. Our political /governmental systems are so thoroughly co-opted/corrupted, they are dysfunctional and are incapable of carrying out their missions that the people have charged them to do.

Further in the RPS bond fraud our elected/appointed officials in essence allowed/ignored a “con game” that swindled the public treasury of some $100M.  The public “bailed out” this fraud with the issuance of a second set of bonds that is draining $2M per year in public revenue to service the debt.  The IRS in as much said so in their condemning and damning statement disallowing the tax exempt status based on the facts/circumstances surrounding the issuance of the first RPS muni bonds as a sham, “the casino was rigged.”  The Savage death is only a small part/act of this much larger organized criminal activity.   The illegal acts of this organized criminal activity were the proximate cause of the death of Jo Savage.  The motivation is economic greed and acceptance of unacceptable risk to the detriment of the publics’ financial interest and safety.  The operative question will there be more deaths because of the dysfunctional nature of our government.

The people must have a judicial remedy/redress to hold those who have failed us “personally” liable and accountable for their criminal acts so the people can act to excise this cancer from our midst to restore a civil/functional political /governmental environment.

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)


I don’t know what the others think but probably share my views.  This “meeting standards” of these barriers is all “smoke and mirrors”, a slight of hand, blowing smoke to conceal the real facts, and/or a red herring.  Eric Looney at KXLY was the only one who picked up on what Tucker and others were saying and counter with my expert opinion (see video at right side of page) re the lack of a complete and thorough criminal investigation that was taken to its normal and logical conclusion because of co-option and/or corruption.

First even if the barriers are presumed to meet any standard, they have failed numerous times and Savage died.  The “standards” are meaningless if they fail to protect the public.  Mind you two cars broke barriers and were left hanging precariously on their undercarriages in the 1990s.    This is a ruse.  At some point “common sense” must kick in – the barriers are failing.  This was the finding of the Hinzman-Atwood engineering report in 1993 that the owners commissioned.  While the barriers may meet some loading standards as designed/ as built, they fact remains that they were failing with regularity.  In short the barriers will fail and install steel cables to prevent vehicles from striking barriers. The owners were full aware of this and did nothing for FIFTEEN years up until the Savage death.   This is very clearly laid out in Rex Franklin’s sworn statement in the Savage civil wrongful death action.

Second – I  go with Eugster that these “barriers” do not meet the “definition” of “vehicle barrier” in 2003 IBC because of their unique cantilevered design where most of the weight is hanging out over the actual garage floor.  While the wall face may meet the compressional/force/loading standard, this force is not directly transferred to the structure but multiplies/force leverages the applied force to the fulcrum point at the edge of the garage floor.  This is the exact point where the barriers fail. This is “Eugster’s” point.  Ast. AG Marlow was alluding to this in his review of Tucker’s submitted material but set this issue aside because of their “limited review” and that the AG’s Office was precluded from conducting it’s own independent criminal investigation.

Also another nuance that no one has reported is Marlow said there was not enough evidence re the corporate/officer direct knowledge re this “defect.”  He went with the WJE this was a “concealed” defect that the owners could not know.  I strongly disagree with this point if Marlow did read the engineering reports.  I find Marlow’s finding not in line with the facts.  What I do agree with Marlow is there is Little or no EVIDENCE/TESTIMONY to link the owners based on their direct knowledge of this know defect.  This was backhanded slap by Marlow at Tucker for not doing a full, complete, transparent criminal investigation that would have found this evidence in my opinion e.g., grand jury compelling key testimony from Beringer, Dragisich, Robideaux, Pupo and others who may have had this personal knowledge and given the necessary evidence that would have proved the owners’ knowledge beyond the “reasonable doubt” burden.  In other words personal knowledge that Stacey and Betsy Cowle knew of this imminent hazard, took no action to remedy/mitigate this hazard for economic reasons (RPS bond fraud off this liability onto the City).  THEY DID NOTHING FOR FIFTEEN YEARS – the Savage death was very foreseeable consequence of these ongoing barrier failures and was preventable.  Tucker by his “inaction/passivity” “loaded” the deck and “structured” the outcome of the Savage case re “insufficient evidence” to meet the criminal “reasonable doubt” standard in the Savage manslaughter case.  There are many parallels here with Tucker’s and US Attorney Jim McDevitt’s inaction/passivity re the RPS bond fraud.

There are compelling grounds in my mind for charging Tucker with malfeasance in office. His statement – the Savage case was not difficult to do is untrue.  The reason why it was “difficult” is no one wanted to do their job and in essence turned a blind eye on Savage’s death.  No one wanted to ask the probative questions and take Savage’s criminal investigations to its logical conclusion. This is the organized crime nature of the RPS bond fraud/Savage manslaughter case – the expected behavior/deference to the Cowles family.  This is BS.

Agreed the RPS bond fraud would glaze one’s eyes over however certain aspects could be brought in for “icing on the cake”.  These would be the “con/fraud” – the inflated price of the garage, laundering of $10M of money into the Cowles’ family pocket (Conversion and or gift/theft of public funds), and the sham of two sets of books. fulling depreciating this structure with the motivation of offing this serious liability (failing barriers) onto the City.  This would be evidence of the motivation of the garage owners’ for their failing to act to remedy/mitigate this imminent public hazard.

The design issue if the “barriers” were at the edge of the garage floor it would limit floor space probably by two feet.  This would interfere with the turning radius on the floor and limit parking.

A potential fix would be to install steel cables out on peers just inside the inner surfaces of the barriers to prevent contact from vehicles.  The “barriers” then only would have to resist gravity and wind loading.

However if what Rudd says is true about the lower existing floors and the “crap” concrete that was used in the new section the whole structure may be compromised.

The bottom line of the “inspection” issue is where are the concrete test results of the concrete during the expansion.  The inspection issue is more of a paper exercise.  The test results would be the best forensic evidence.  Since Rudd says he didn’t witness any concrete sampling then either they don’t exist or if the city has records they are fraudulent/counterfeit.

So this comes full circle back to doing a “hands on” on sight inspection by a credible entity that is not co-opted by the city or the Cowles.  Mind you a new failure and civil liability would only be by preponderance and not the criminal “reasonable doubt” standard.  This is why I believe the City must compel an immediate inspection as allowed by Rudd or they are going to be up “poop creek” if there is another injury do to another structural failure.

Ron the Cop


Steve Eugster

to me

show details 4:43 PM (1 hour ago)

The problem with the so-called barriers is the fact,  I emphasize fact, that many of the barriers have failed.  What is the reason for the failures?  They do not do what the so-called specialists say they should do.  Why?  Probably because the rebar, end to end through the curve, is not in the center of the concrete.  It is on the outside!  At least, it was on the outside in the case of the barrier which failed in the death of Jo Ellen Savage.  This was readily apparent in the pictures of the failed panel. If there is another panel with this defect there will likely be another death in the course of time.  To my knowledge the panels in place have never been tested to see where the rebar actually is in each of the panels.  This is the real danger, this is where there should be reason for real inspection of each panel.

Steve Eugster


Actually in the last WJE study they used “ferroscanning” to measure the depth of the rebar from the inside surface. This was the ongoing debate between WJE and LSB the firm the City hired to review the retrofit engineering data. This is where the average of the panels was about 3.4 inches.  All beyond the ideal placement.  I would speculative [sic – ate] if you measured the depth at the “curve” as Eugster says it’s probably near the outside of the curve and provides little support.  From my readings there really was no effort to maintain the optimal placement in the “curve” as this would require substantial more work and rigging of the rebar to keep it in place during the pour.

Ron the Cop

April 3rd, 2009

BREAKING – Tucker declines to file Savage manslaughter case

To All:

This is a dark day in the history of Spokane.  Our elected and appointed officials have failed we whom have empowered them to govern on our behalf.  This was a simple case to prove.  There is compelling probable cause to file this case.  Tucker failed to do his job.  No complete and thorough criminal investigation was ever done that would have obtained key testimony that would have made this case.  This is basically putting the cart way before the horse.  Tucker has no basis for making a rational filing decision without the benefit of such a criminal investigation.  This case warranted prosecution in front of an impartial jury that could render a verdict whether guitly or not. Tucker’s action (lack of action) precluded the compelling evidence from being presented in open court in front of a jury.  This is a travesty of justice for the citizens of Spokane.

Tucker’s press release

Ast. Attorney General Marlow’s letter to Tucker.

My formal response to AP Reporter Nick Geranios:

April 3, 2009

Nicholas Geranios
AP reporter – Spokane, WA

RE:  Press Release from Co Prosecutor Tucker – No criminal charges in Savage manslaughter case

Dear Mr. Geranios

Thank you for soliciting my comment concerning the failure of Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker to investigate the April 8, 2006 death of Jo Ellen Savage in the River Park Square parking garage as first-degree manslaughter.

By way of introduction and as to why I am qualified as an expert to have a professional opinion in the Savage case.  I am a recently retired law enforcement investigator having served for thirty-five years in a large Southern California City – Riverside, CA.  I have worked or assisted in many diverse investigations including thefts, burglaries, robberies, sex crimes, and homicides.  I have worked complex cases involving ongoing criminal conspiracies; economic, financial, political conflict of interests crimes, fraud, forgery, and ID theft related crimes as well as high tech computer related crimes. I graduated number one academically from a California POST basic academy and posses a CA POST Advanced Certificate.

I have a graduate degree in administration from the University of California, Riverside, including course work in public planning and financing.  I have an undergraduate degree in political science from California State University, Fullerton (With honor).  I have an AA degree in the police science from Riverside Community College (With distinction). I am a two-term president of the Riverside Police Officers’ Association.  I was a multi-term president of a statewide investigators association that dealt with the complex financial regulation and enforcement of state laws of collateral lenders (pawnshops) in the State of California. I also served as a planning commissioner in the City of Grand Terrace, CA (See attached vitae).

I successfully investigated hundreds if not over a thousand criminal cases some of which included complex criminal conspiracies.  I worked closely with our district attorney’s office to file and successfully prosecute these cases.  I’m totally at a loss as to how Mr. Tucker can make a make a rational criminal filing decision without having complete and thorough criminal investigation to review. No such investigation to my knowledge has been done into her horrifying death in the RPS parking garage as thoroughly documented in Larry Shook’s reporting at Girl from Hot Springs.  Reliable sources have told me that key witnesses have never been interviewed. In my professional opinion all of the law enforcement agencies with a duty and responsibility to conduct such an investigation have failed to act as legally and ethically required. They have all turned a blind eye to the overwhelming evidence supporting the criminal  prosecution of Ms. Savage’s death. Based on my professional law enforcement experience, I believe this conduct perpetuates the deeply entrenched public corruption in Spokane that revolves around the Cowles family’s abusive media practices. As has been well established during the River Park Square scandal, the Cowles family punishes critics of its business practices with critical editorial content and effectively rewards its co-conspirators with favorable editorial content or editorial content that skillfully obscures evidence of misconduct. For evidence of this pattern of practice, please see my comments in “Deathtrap” at  in deference to or from fear of retribution/retaliation from the Cowles family.

I recently wrote Mr. Tucker expressing my dismay as to his conduct.  I presented him with additional information regarding the “rebar” placement in the concrete spandrels in the RPS parking garage.  It was one of these spandrels that failed, killing that caused the death of Ms. Savage.  This hazard, as abundantly documented, was well known to the owners of the parking garage for some FIFTEEN YEARS and they did nothing to mitigate this hazard because of economic reasons. This is simple prima facie evidence of reckless disregard for human life on the part of the Cowles family, which is the relevant first-degree manslaughter legal element in Ms. Savage’s death.  Further, the Cowleses clearly dumped this hazard on the City of Spokane without the public’s knowledge.

Please consider, the city entered into what the IRS labeled an appraisal “scheme” to launder in excess of $10 million dollars more that the garage was worth into Cowles real estate companies. One would think that for such a generous payment the Cowles family would have turned over a state of the art facility to the city, and certainly one that did not threat to kill its patrons. Instead, the Cowleses turned over a facility that several engineering studies show was in an advanced state of decay. Moreover, the 1993 Jacobson study, commissioned by the Cowleses themselves, showed that the garage’s barriers represented a deadly hazard. Did the Cowleses disclose that study to the city as part of the River Park Square “public/private partnership?” If they did, there will be a public record of that. That record will have clearly created a duty on the part of the City of Spokane to protect the public from the hazard that killed Ms. Savage. If the city had that information and did not act on it, that failure of ordinary care makes the city directly responsible for Ms. Savage’s death. If the Cowles family failed to inform the city of the Jacobson warning, it underscores the culpability of specific Cowles family members in the first-degree manslaughter death of Ms. Savage.

Please note: former City of Spokane real estate manager Dennis Beringer insists that the city was never informed of the Jacobson warning. However, Mr. Beringer says he did perform an assessment of the RPS garage’s condition, under assignment from the city council, and found the garage in such serious disrepair that he refuses to park in it himself because he regards it unsafe. You should be able to obtain the Beringer garage report from the City of Spokane, according to Mr. Beringer. Mr. Beringer may be contacted at 789-4302. The Cowleses, of course, have maintained that the spandrel that failed and killed Ms. Savage met building code. That their own engineer had informed the Cowleses that they should assume all the garage’s barriers would fail, and that the Cowles had been replacing as many as three failed barriers annually for many years prior to Ms. Savage’s death, according to former Cowles garage manager Rex Franklin (Sworn depo in Savage civil case) underscores the Cowles family’s callous disregard for public safety. I brought this matter to Mr. Tucker’s attention and he simply ignored it, a clear dereliction of duty, in my opinion. they attempted to off load this liability to the City of Spokane in the RPS bond fraud et al. The issue of these spandrels meeting building code standards is a red herring as I explained to Sheriff Knezovich and Chief Kirkpatrick in a discussion with Robert Rembert, the attorney that represented the Savage family in the civil action, that I included in my email to Mr. Tucker.

In another email I wrote to Mr. Tucker:

I won’t bore you with the details yet again, but it is my professional opinion based on my training, education and experience that there is very strong, compelling probable cause based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Jo Savage in the RPS parking garage to file a criminal complaint for 1st Degree Manslaughter (RCW et seq.), brought to trial and prosecuted in front of an impartial jury. This case needs to be tried and let a jury decide guilt or innocence and no one else.   Specifically to charge those that had direct knowledge of an imminent public hazard, that failed to provide ordinary care and/or due diligence to garage patrons by remedying and/or mitigating this hazard that was the proximate cause of Jo Savage’s horrifying death.

. . . Admittedly there are many both private and public persons alike that had a hand in Savage’s death, the persons who should be charged are those with direct knowledge of the repeated barrier failures, the two known vehicles that hung precariously over the edge in the 1990’s,  Atwood-Hinzman engineering report’s recommendations and other engineering reports over the ensuing years, and for economic self-interest reasons failed to act.  This is a very small group.

The Savage case is not complicated.  It is an easy case to present to a jury which can easily understand the evidence and render a verdict.  The Savage death case is the Achilles’ heal of this criminal enterprise.  Savage’s death in my opinion is only one of many illegal acts committed by or on behalf of this ongoing criminal enterprise/ conspiracy led by the Cowles Co. . .

The real issue of whether the RPS garage is safe for occupancy continues. To me this is a much more important issue than whether Mr. Tucker files any criminal charges. We’ve already had one death in this garage.  Is there any assurance to the public that there will be no further structural failures.

In my opinion there has been sufficient concern raised that the City should compel the immediate impartial inspection of the RPS parking garage as per Steve Rudd’s opinion as reported in the Girl from Hot Springs to determine if the RPS parking garage  is indeed safe or not for continued occupancy.   To do otherwise considerably raises the stakes and potential liability to the City should there be another death/injury occur.  As a stakeholder in the City who will ultimately have to pay for any civil damages, I would expect those whom the citizens of Spokane have chosen to govern to error on the side of caution.

I have previously stated on several occasions that I consider the criminal evidence surrounding the entire RPS project to suggest that Cowles family activities, and local government’s accommodation of them, constitute a pattern of organized crime. Prosecutor Tucker’s failure to bring criminal charges concerning Ms. Savage’s death reinforces my opinion. I consider his actions to be a terrible black eye for law enforcement in Spokane. Even worse, Mr. Tucker’s failure to act leaves the citizens of Spokane vulnerable to one of the most serious criminal menaces I have ever encountered in my thirty-five years in law enforcement.

Neither I or my family will be parking in the Cowles garage until it is proven safe.

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)