[Note: I’ve had this in draft form since last year and never posted it. I will have major breaking news tomorrow that will link to this information]
These very significant documents were finally released after much delaying by the City of Spokane. These documents were sent by the City’s first special bond counsel O. Yale Lewis to Mayor Mary Verner earlier this year. Lewis intended these documents to be given to former Mayor John Talbott and Councilperson Cherie Rodgers. It was Talbott that commissioned Lewis to investigate the RPS bond fraud. Lewis work quickly and concluded there was a civil bond fraud committed by the RPS developers (The Cowles Co) with involvement of certain elected and appointed City officials.
The Lewis documents can be viewed on the S-R server in conjunction with S-R Reporter Jonathan Brunt’s story of November 15, 2008:
See my analysis of the Lewis documents in this email exchange with Councilperson Bob Apple:
Copy of exchange with Mr. Apple
Robert Apple, Councilmember
City of Spokane
Re: Jo Savage Manslaugher Case & RPS Parking Garage
Dear Mr. Apple,
You are one of the few elected officials that realize the great fraud that was perpetrated on the citizens of Spokane by certain elected/appointed officials at the behest of the developers of RPS. As you know the O. Yale Lewis documents have now been released for all to view. Unfortunately the S-R as usual “underreported” the significance of the Lewis documents. The S-R marginalized Lewis‘ involvement and successful legal strategy that was later borne out in Gary Ceriani’s successful civil bond fraud case and the later IRS report disallowing the tax-exempt states of the RPS bonds. In my read of the documents and the actions of Laurel Siddoway that followed both to scuttle Lewis‘ second amended complaint and later recommending the settlement of the RPS case over the strong objections of Mr. Ceriani that was withheld from Council before it voted on the settlement, was adverse to the interests of the citizens of Spokane. Why?
By removing the conspiracy allegations of both Lewis‘ and Ceriani’s cases in chief and dropping the developers as defendants, this strategy shielded from public exposure the actions of certain elected and appointed officials and thereby accountability to the people. In my read Siddoway was acting in the best interests of those involved and not of the citizens of Spokane. Had the conspiracy case been pursued this would have launched a case of “mutually assured destruction” by the potential defendants as to the culpability of certain elected/appointed officials. Had the conspiracy case been pursued to its logical conclusion, it would have pierced the veil of the RPS Foundation LLC and all of the assets of the developers would have been available for civil redress by the citizens of Spokane. There was little downside to this course of action. Even if the developers attempted to declare bankruptcy of the RPS Foundation, the City would have gained title to the RPS garage at considerably less expense. Further the developers were sternly warned by the court that bankruptcy was not a legitimate defense in a later related case Bob Robideaux vs. Betsy Cowles et al, The IRS said as much when it said the RPS Foundation LLC was in essence a sham and false front for the RPS developerswhen when it concluded, “the casino was rigged” re the bonds that were issued “on behalf of” when the IRS held the RPS bonds were not tax exempt. I was the S-R’s source for the Lewis documents and to his credit S-R Report Jonathan Brunt did file a PDR for these documents. It was only after considerable effort on my part, did the City Attorney’s Office finally agree to relinquish the Lewis documents. The City Attorney’s Office knew full well the import of these documents and was doing everything in its power to prevent their release.
In my opinion there is a clear pattern and practice of the S-R to cover the fraudulent actions of its owners (the RPS developers) whether they be civil and/or criminal in nature. The S-R functions as an instrumentality of an ongoing criminal enterprise in Spokane. Hopefully with the release of the Lewis documents this logjam of significant information that has been withheld from the people will now be broken. Time will only tell whether the citizens of Spokane will realized that they were the victims of a complex $100M fraud where they were left holding the bag when people in positions of trust were either compromised or looked the other way and allowed this fraud to occur and the citizens will eventually hold them accountable
In the short term the death of Ms. Jo Savage in the RPS parking garage is a chink in the facade of this ongoing criminal conspiracy. The death of Ms. Savage is part and parcel of the much larger ongoing fraud. In my opinion the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Ms. Savage amount to nothing less than a first degree manslaughter under the laws of WA. No real investigation was ever conducted surrounding this death other than a superficial Spokane PD traffic accident report. Even though the US Attorney’s Office did not find sufficient criminal intent on the part of those involved to warrant indictments, it felt compelled to turn over certain evidence regarding the Savage death that it acquired using the power of grand jury subpoenas to County Prosecutor Steve Tucker for review under state law involving negligent deaths. Other than the initial S-R article, Mr. Tucker has been very quiet as to what he is going to do with this case. The statue of limitations on this case will run next April. For various political reasons I believe Mr. Tucker will allow the time to run without finding sufficient cause for filing a criminal complaint which would preclude other credible investigative agencies from pursuing this case any further. This would be a travesty of justice for the people of the State of Washington. I could be wrong.
I have written both the State Attorney General’s Office and Governor Gregoire and requested that they exercise their statutory powers to remove this case from Mr. Tucker’s Office. These letters are attached. Please share this information with anyone you believe who can hold Mr. Tucker accountable to ensure he faithfully carries out his oath of office to the people of the State of Washington to conduct a credible transparent investigation and or he refer the Savage Case to the State Attorney General’s Office to remove any potential for conflicts of interest in this case. The people of the State of Washington and the family of Ms. Savage deserve no less
Det. Ron Wright (Retired)
[Email reply from Mr. Apple 12-02-08]
All interested and Ron Wright:
Thank you for your correspondence and I believe you are correct, in your assertion that County Prosecutor Steve Tucker will not take any meaningful action, as you imply in this matter. Honestly, I have not seen any responsible government action to freely expose for the public what had been found by the attorney’s Lewis or Ceriani and the resultant harm expressed to have made at the least, a financial loss for the public. Clearly the financial harm is one thing but, the flawed structure of our government means it could happen again unless fairly and completely vetted with public input so as too, make necessary changes and protections. It is one thing for me to recommend, from within and with still protected knowledge for specific change however without review of all the evidence contained in the files of the RPS matter the whole public can never, really become familiar to affirm any recommendations for public protections and mine languish. That leaves open, a constant danger of this once again happen and that cannot be or, should not be acceptable.
I believe, all aspects of the RPS public/private partnership are concluded legally, a this point. And as a result, all records should be released to the public with the local government instituting appropriate hearings of review timely and to make as necessary changes or rules, if deemed appropriate. As for the situation, resulting in the death of Mrs. Savage I believe law enforcement detectives or other perhaps building official personnel would have to give recommendations for requested legislative changes and would look forward, to such reviews and discussions.
I believe these are serious matters, as many others to our community and have languished far to long already and deserve public input to attempt, precluding such results in the future.
[Previous eply of 07-14-08]
It became a clear fraud, when the IRS disclosed it to be so and then only the SEC stepped in to protect the Bond Holders, where was the AG then? Conversion of public funds was clearly expressed and yet the US Attorney did nothing. In my mind, much more corruption has ensued since that point and the public bill only grew rapidly as it did with the electrical public supply companies and FERC’s collaboration to clearly defraud the public and the truth only came from one victim agency, that took it through the courts. Seattle Puget Power and Light, exposed such corruption from the top of our federal government and through it’s agencies that telling the truth or even correcting the fraud apparently, is not always allowed. After all, the ratepayers from California and across the country including little Spokane are still paying the inflated electric bills, brought to us in fraud.
I believe, you are absolutely correct that the case was gutted by the Powers Administration and there are lots of friends and buddies on every side but, the publics. Even now, there are enough newer people continually brought in who want through complicity for this kept, bottled up to stop the talk. But unfortunately, I also believe we will not see any government entity take responsible actions for the public and that is truly embarrassing, as an elected official who really tried to gain the public a voice with force.
I nor Mrs. Rodger could, figure out how our fellow councilors could vote as they did and in spite of the fact that we were lied to and had evidence, intentionally kept from us. Thanks to Sherie, some of the attempted lies were exposed in deliberative remarks but still the apparent fix that included a public bailout, was pressed. I think Robideaux, was assured a pay off so they had to have the City settle with him first and for little from insurance so they could allow the court to find him a big reward, to retire and his mouth.
What’s changed, I see single bidder contracts excepted without question or concern with none of my questions answered and brought forward and passed, you are the loser! Single provider contract, allowed with little question and clear collusion from our personnel that leads me to no other than, the obvious conclusion. Yes, I have reported many such situations this year alone to State officials and still hope, this can be curbed. I could tell you, that I think someone intentionally altered a safety computer program at the Waste Treatment Plant a couple of years ago that resulted in a death and subsequent commitment to, a half billion dollars in improvements. How much time do you have to commit to do what the proper officials seem to be complicit in?
I do not, want you to get discouraged and hope you keep on task but it never, seems to stops around here. What is needed, is for more honest people in elective office who will not be subject to what you and I have seen, time and again. Can you honestly, tell me you trust your Congress lady, County Commissioners or State Legislators or lesser Office Holders well if not then, it is a bigger problem and will only change with them. Perhaps, you should run next year and encourage some friends too, as well!