Ron The Cop

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

May 13th, 2009

‘Sewer Wars’ a Redux – Law extends time limit for Spokane River cleanup

Law extends time limit for Spokane River cleanup

[S-R article by Richard Roesler 05-12-09]

Do I detect the hand of the Cowles family yet again?

In case any one’s keeping book the Inland Empire Paper plant  (Owned by the Cowles) by concentration as a point source of phosphates to the Spokane River is second largest contributor just behind the entire City of Spokane. The Cowles Co. was a behind the scenes player in the 80’s  raid on Liberty Lake sewer project that left that city with excess sewerage capacity that the citizens of Liberty Lake were left paying for.  A similar MO?  Read more in the previous post at FOF:

Inland Empire Paper objects to new discharge deadline (A Cowles Company)

and at Rocket’s Brain Trust:

Shades of the Incinerator Project?

I rescanned Larry Shook’s article “Sewer Wars” from the 80’s and it’s more readable. It’s a large PDF file so I’m hosting it on one of my servers.  You’ll probably have to “zoom in” a bit to read it but it’s definitely better than the copy I had before:

Sewer Wars Grass-roots action in a Spokane suburb touches off a sewerage grab by developers, the County, and the state DOE

May 7th, 2009

‘Fraud: Scam Capital of America’ vs. an ‘Army of Davids’

From an email I just sent out:-)

Prof Glenn Reynolds and other new/alternative media bloggers:

A bleg for a link:-)  Prof. Reynolds this is your concept of An Army of Davids in action to counter big media and governmental bureaucracy.  Unfortunately critical mass has not been reached yet to expose these criminal acts.  This could be an excellent PJTV segment.  See this compelling YouTube video:


Cowles media dynasty called hub of
organized crime by two former lawmen

Woman died, public threatened because of
government collusion with powerful family, they say

This is a real Shakespearean/Greek tragedy at multiple levels with the death of Jo Ellen Savage in the Cowles’ owned RPS parking garage at the visceral level and the white collar fraud aspect of the elite and powerful that was the proximate of her death. The regional media outlet, The Spokesman-Review, has been thoroughly co-opted by its owners to conceal its criminal acts – a very unique circumstance.

The Cowles own a considerable amount of real estate in Downtown Spokane and their illegal dealings are generally self-censored and/or under reported by the S-R in deference to their owners. So far the perpetrators by owning, controlling and or by extorting the Spokane region’s media market, have been able to keep this major story under wraps.  Without being challenged by an aggressive local newspaper, the public remains uniformed and consequently is not storming city hall with pitchforks and shovels in outrage demanding justice.

The Cowles Co was founding a member of the AP and have served on its board. From the geographic/political isolation of Spokane this remains a company town.  No news leaves this town that the Cowles Co doesn’t control re its AP feed.  If the light of the free world’s press were to shine on Spokane, the Cowles Co stranglehold on Spokane would be broken.  With the new/alternative media the Cowles Co can no longer can control the flow of info out of Spokane.  So hence my bleg for others to spread the word to help us gain critical mass to break this story around the Cowles’ logjam on the flow of information/news.

This story needs to be reported by media outside of this regional market so that the citizens of Spokane will be informed and can take appropriate action to hold their elected and others accountable.  This is like we witnessed in Katrina when folks were stuck on roofs and used their cell phones/newsroom blogs to send messages out of the disaster zone to report their location/condition to rescuers.  An earlier as we witnessed by troops on the ground in Greneda using phone cards to use local phone to communicate critical information that they couldn’t pass on their official gov’t com equipment between the differnce military service branches.

Please note that nationally famous former Sheriff Tony Bamonte from the book Breaking Blue concurs with my assessment and Tim Connor award winning investigative jounalist and former mayor of Spokane, Col. John Talbott (Ret. USAF) join in my request for action by WA Gov. Christine Gregoire

This is now up at my site:

BREAKING – Criminal complaint filed against Spokane Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker

Forbes magazine just release this story.  The door is slowly creaking open. The frauds Mr. Barrett cite are small potatoes compared with the Cowles’ led $100M RPS bond fraud et al :

Fraud: Scam Capital of America

William P. Barrett, 05.06.09, 06:00 PM EDT
Forbes Magazine dated May 25, 2009image

Rugged individualism often goes hand in hand with cutting corners. Washington State’s second-largest city is a prime example.

There’s the diploma mill that sold 10,000 phony college degrees to buyers in 131 countries. The $31 million parking-garage bond hustle that snared fund firms Vanguard, Nuveen and Smith Barney. And the many questionable enterprises around the continent that turn for legal and accounting services to firms in the heart of the Pacific Northwest’s Inland Empire. . .
Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: rocketsbrain <>
Date: Tue, May 5, 2009 at 2:59 PM
Subject: BREAKING – Criminal complaint filed against Spokane Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker
To: “Verner, Mary” <>,

Mayor Verner and City Council:

This is not in general release yet.  I thought I would give you some advance notice. As I said in my letter to Ast. AG Scott Marlow I have major ethical and professional concerns with how Mr. Tucker handled this investigation.  To put it bluntly he didn’t do “crap” and buried the Savage case from public scrutiny. I will not let him get away with this.

BTW I have yet to hear from you re my formal demand for an immediate inspection of the RPS parking garage.  The City Attorney indicated that the City would wait until after Tucker made his decision – well that was almost a month ago.

I find myself in agreement with Doug Clark’s column this morning.  Seems to me this topic has more relevance than the safety/sign bus bench issue that you are spending considerable time on.

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)


SUBJECT:  Criminal complaint filed against Spokane Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker and others with Gov. Christine Gregoire

Spokane, WA –  A criminal complaint was filed with Gov. Christine Gregoire today by retired police Det. Ron Wright.  Det. Wright is a seasoned criminal investigator having previously worked for Riverside PD, CA for thirty-five years and retired to Spokane two years ago. . .

[See link above re complaint filed for complete text of release]

May 5th, 2009

BREAKING – Criminal complaint filed against Spokane Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker


SUBJECT:  Criminal complaint filed against Spokane Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker and others with Gov. Christine Gregoire

Spokane, WA –  A criminal complaint was filed with Gov. Christine Gregoire today by retired police Det. Ron Wright.  Det. Wright is a seasoned criminal investigator having previously worked for Riverside PD, CA for thirty-five years and retired to Spokane two years ago.

Det. Wright is alleging in his criminal complaint that Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker clearly failed to perform an official act/duty thereby rendering criminal assistance (RCW 9A.76.070 – a class C felony) to an ongoing criminal enterprise as led by the Cowles Co in Spokane, WA – owners of the River Park Square and The Spokesman-Review.  From a letter sent to the Governor Gregoire today regarding Mr. Tucker’s decision not to file first degree manslaughter charges in the death of Jo Ellen Savage in the River Park Square parking garage on April 8, 2006:

Formal request for you to call for a complete and thorough criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s Office of the actions of Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker and others or for you to initiate a grand jury investigation of organized crime in the Spokane Region involving members of the Cowles family and elected and public officials.

The factual basis for this complaint is contained in a recent letter by Det. Wright  to Ast. Attorney General Scott Marlow who assisted in a limited review of Savage case material sent to Attorney General Rob McKenna by Mr. Tucker:

The Savage case was no isolated tragic accident. I’m totally at a loss as to how Mr. Tucker can make a rational criminal filing decision without first having a complete and thorough criminal investigation for him to review. . . Mr. Tucker set up the Savage case for failure by not doing his duty as charged by the people. Mr. Tucker’s failure to act ensured that justice would not be served. Mr. Tucker’s decision not to file charges was not just a mere exercise in prosecutorial discretion. When Mr. Tucker’s action is viewed in the light of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the death of Jo Savage it was a criminal act in deference to and furtherance of an ongoing criminal enterprise. . . [Emphasis added]

This letter requests that Governor Gregoire take immediate action:

I am formally requesting that you direct Attorney General Rob McKenna to conduct a criminal investigation into my criminal complaint against Mr. Tucker and others per your statutory authority in RCW 43.10.090 and RCW 43.10.232, or initiate a grand jury investigation of organized crime in the Spokane Region involving members of the Cowles family and elected and public officials. . .

Documents I have provided you corroborate the facts that the Cowles parking garage had and to this day, continues to have life-threatening and serious structural problems that City officials and Cowles family members are aware of and fail to correct.  I request you immediately direct the Department of Labor and Industries to become involved and act to ensure an impartial and credible inspection be conducted of the RPS parking garage to determine if safe for continued occupancy and whether any structural repairs are necessary.

Det. Wright is joined in his request by fellow Spokane citizens Tony Bamonte, former sheriff of Pend Orielle County and subject of the best selling book Breaking Blue, Col. John Talbott (Ret. USAF) former Mayor of Spokane, and Tim Connor an award winning investigative jounalist.


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

nar9350 [AT] gmail [DOT] com


May 4th, 2009

‘O. Yale Lewis’ Documents finally released by City of Spokane, WA

[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:

Mall garage price-fixing conspiracy suspected

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
Spokane, WA

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 Lewissecond 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.

Bob Apple

[Previous eply of 07-14-08]

Ron Wright:

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!

Good morning.

Bob Apple