Ron The Cop

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

December 15th, 2010

Spokane PD blocks incoming emails as spam



As I just released to members of the local media, this blockage of emails by Spokane PD has a very chilling effect.


[Email sent to local media]


To All:


My email to Spokane City Clerk Terri Pfister is self-explanatory.  As members of the press/media who are dependent on the transparency of government – re filing PDRs,  I would think this would be of interest to you and your readers/viewers.


Here’s Ms. Pfister’s earlier email to me:


Mr. Wright:

Yes, we are receiving your emails.  As to the systems breakdown, you’ll be getting a more formal response from the City’s Attorney’s Office. 



Terri L. Pfister, MMC

Spokane City Clerk

808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Spokane, WA  99201-3342

(509) 625-6354

(509) 625-6217 (fax)


The emails that underlay KREM2’s “Cage Fight investigative report were very illuminating in decisions that were made by police administrators and the County Prosecutor’s Office in the Creach OIS. If the City is free to block emails at the whim of City administrators, this begs the question of whether other emails messages within the City have been compromised.


Ron Wright


[Email sent to the City Clerk]


December 15, 2010


Terri Pfister
City Clerk
City of Spokane

Re: Blockage of my official emails to the Spokane Police Department


Dear Ms. Pfister:


I haven’t received any communication yet from the City Attorney’s Office re my emails being blocked as you mentioned in your previous email.  I don’t know if the City Attorney’s Office plans to send a hard copy of their letter of explanation why my emails were being blocked by mail or email.


Just in case my updated mailing address is:


Ron Wright
8921 N. Indian Trail Rd., PMB 210
Spokane, WA 99208


If per chance this letter is in transit and you have access to it could you please email a copy?


The more I’ve researched this, it is appearing more likely this was a manual and deliberate action by someone in the City’s MIS Department in response to someone in a City leadership position.  The action taken was to set my email address,, as spam at the City email server level within the Baracuda email management software program.  Since my emails have since been released to their intended recipients, this would indicate that my messages were quarantined at the City’s email server level. Further no bounce messages were sent indicating my emails were not being received.  This is further indicative this was not an automatic action of this software program but required a manual intervention to accomplish this end result.


From responses by you and others to my test messages, this blockage was probably limited to SPD related IP email related addresses.  As I said before I believe this was an artifact of an earlier directive by Chief Kirkpatrick to ban Larry Shook’s emails.  MIS Director Grav Brakel at Chief Kirkpatrick’s request apparently banned Mr. Shook from all City email addresses which he subsequently discovered.  Mr. Shook complained and the situation was corrected or at least that’s what we thought.  It appears these emails blocks at least for me were still in effect at the SPD level.


Here’s the responses I received from Jennifer Quick, police records specialist, who I was doing official business with regarding the Creach OIS case which was investigated by SPD.  I’m assisting the Scott Creach family in securing information on this tragic incident for all involved. I should disclose I have not been officially retained by them.  I am doing this free of charge with the exception of reimbursement for fees I incur.


When I spoke with Ms. Quick on Friday (12-10-10) she checked her local spam box and did not find my emails.  This is indicative of the email block being much higher at the email server level:


From: Quick, Jennifer <>
Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 2:32 PM
Subject: RE: e-mails


I have been informed that your old e-mail is being captured in the Barracuda spam filter [My emphasis]; you should be receiving a letter concerning this. Please continue to use the new e-mail.  Also, they were able to retrieve and forward the e-mails you sent prior.  I have them now.  Thank you, [My emphasis]


J. Quick

Records Specialist

Spokane SO/PD


From: Quick, Jennifer
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2010 1:21 PM
Subject: e-mails


Good Afternoon,


Sorry my e-mail reply does not seem to be working for me.  To answer your question the e-mail I received this morning was from the address.  I also just got the one asking me to tell you which addresses I received your e-mails from and that e-mail is from your account. 


J. Quick

Records Specialist

Spokane SO/PD


Ms. Pfister as the person in charge of maintaining the official records of the City of Spokane, I’m sure you recognize the seriousness of this incident.  Whether benign or deliberate the effect of this email blockage is to distort and or manipulate the official record and subsequent discovery via subsequent PDRs.


As I said before the City’s record on transparency as required by the public disclosure law is not stellar.

In fact in the RPS Bond Frauds it’s quite apparent the City Attorney’s Office was willing to run the risk of being fined for violating this law.  The City was indeed later fined in the Connor/Shook case.  The irony is that it was WE THE TAXPAYERS that paid for this violation.  Those culpable never personally suffered any direct consequences.


Ms. Pfister I would expect you immediately act to preserve the computer forensic record of these MIS administrative system actions within the City’s email server and all emails related to them to identify by terminal and operator ID those responsible for this blockage.  Consider this an official notice of a PDR for this information.  I will be sending the appropriate PDR form later today.


Further I would expect no harm will come to Ms. Quick re her frankness in her emails to me as she was just doing her job as I would expect her to do.


Thank you for your assistance,


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)




[Email received from Asst. City Atty Pat Dalton]


December 15, 2010


Det. Ron Wright, Retired


Re:  Your e-mails


Dear Detective Wright:


I have been asked to communicate with you about your recent e-mails concerning a public records request relating to Spokane Police Department records.    The reason that SPD did not receive your e-mails is because the City’s spam filter recognized your e mail address ( and moved your e-mails into a separate spam folder.  Any e-mail from your “” address goes into the spam folder because of the volume, number of recipients and amount of e-mails received from that address.  Our public records officer regularly reviews the e-mails in the spam folder to try to catch public records requests.  Although the spam folder was being monitored, unfortunately, there was an unintentional lapse in transmitting those e-mails from you to SPD.  As soon as both you and the SPD contacted us, we corrected the problem by forwarding the emails to SPD. 


I believe that you have already discovered the “fix” to this problem:  you are communicating with us using a new e-mail address (   If you will continue to use your new address, and limit the number of recipients, it is less likely your emails will be filtered into the spam folder, and you and the City can continue to communicate about your public records requests.


It is our firm desire to give the fullest assistance to you and to timely respond to all public records requests we receive from you and all other members of the public.  In your specific instance, I believe that we will be able to provide you with the most complete timely service on your public records requests if you continue to use your new address and communicate directly with either SPD Records personnel or the City’s Public Records Officer about your public records requests.  We believe that using e-mail to request public records is generally appropriate, but it is important to realize that it is time consuming and onerous for us to adequately monitor e-mails from you that are caught by our spam filter.  Because of that, we ask that you continue to use your new e-mail address.


Thank you,


Pat Dalton, Assistant City Attorney




[My email response to Mayor Verner demanding an immediate investigation]


December 16, 2010


Mayor Verner and Councilmembers

Re:  Complaint re email blockage by Spokane PD


Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:


Please see the attached email I sent to City Clerk Terri Pfister re my emails from my being blocked as spam. I won’t go into specific detail here but I believe this was intentional and deliberate.  I don’t believe this was a benign automatic function of the City’s email firewall program.  From my research I believe this selective blocking of my email required a manual action within the City’s Baracuda firewall program at the administrative server level by the MIS Department .  Such an action normally would require someone with root level admin access/privileges to initiate such a software preference setting.


Asst. City Attorney Pat Dalton’s email regarding this issue is disingenuous at best (See attached). I filed my PDR directly with the City Clerk after confering with Ms. Pfister.  My PDR was routed to SPD to handle.  My emails to Ms. Quick were in reply to questions she posed in hard copy letters re my PDR.  I sent two emails, 11-26-10 and 12-07-10.  After not hearing from her I called her on 12-10-10 at which time the blockage of my emails was discovered.


I notified City Clerk Terri Pfister in my email it is her duty/responsibility to preserve the forensic computer records re this matter.  I further filed a PDR for this information to identify by terminal and operator code the person responsible for these actions.  This should reveal whether this was intentional or not.  I have knowledge of the previous action by Chief Kirkpatrick to block emails from Larry Shook.  Chief Kirkpatrick contacted Grav Brakel, the MIS director, to block Shook’s emails.  As I understand it, this block was global across all City’s email addresses.  This block was later rescinded or at least that’s what we thought after Mr. Shook lodge a complaint with Mr. Brakel.


I am assisting the Creach family in obtaining information relative to the Creach OIS investigation that was conducted by SPD pursuant to the critical incident protocol. It was during this research that I discovered my emails were selectively being blocked/filtered/quarantined to SPD internal IP/email addresses.  I have further learned that my messages to SPD addresses that were cc’d to other City addresses including Councilmembers were not received.  Only when my messages were unquarantined on Monday, did these messages go through to their intended recipients.

This is very chilling as I addressed in my email to Ms. Pfister. 
The effect is that the official record is being distorted, manipulated and or concealed from elected representatives and citizens.

As I wrote Ms. Quick [sic Pfister] earlier today:


Further I would expect no harm will come to Ms. Quick re her frankness in her emails to me as she was just doing her job as I would expect her to do.


I’m currently preparing a letter to the Mayor and City Council on this chilling revelation. 

For the record to all recipients of this email, both former Sheriff Bamonte and I have separate pending complaints with SPD OPO Tim Burns alleging malfeasance in office by Chief Kirkpatrick.  Sheriff Bamonte and I are both continuing to compile an evidenciary record to substantiate our complaints.  The interference/manipulation/quarantining of our emails could be construed as specific intent to alter the official record to conceal evidence of our charges.


Mayor Verner and Councilmembers I demand that an immediate investigation be launched re this matter to identify if this was simply a benign effect/artifact of the City’s firewall program or if it required a manual action.  If this was a manual action – by whom and who authorized it.  Because this potentially involves senior level MIS officials, this investigation be managed/conducted by an outside computer forensics expert.  I am officially requesting a copy of that report/findings. And lastly that my email address be unblocked.


Thank you in advance for your expeditious consideration and action in this matter.




Det. Ron Wright (Retired)


December 9th, 2010

Spokane, WA – AMR billing fraud, Officer Involved Shootings et al


I attended a meeting of Spokane Area bloggers that are a community under the umbrella of Launchpad INW. I just posted this comment in their discussion thread:

I moved to Spokane for its many fine amenities/attributes.  The only downside is it’s company town nature that is an impediment to real growth of existing and new businesses that will increase the prevailing wage base for all citizens.

With the advent of the new/alternative/social media, such as this forum, the information and thought of the day can no longer be restrained/filtered.  Once informed the citizens of Spokane can hold their elected/appointed officials accountable for their less than stellar performance to truly make this an All American City.

The recently settled multi-million dollar AMR billing fraud class action suit is just one example of the waste and fraud at the expense of the Spokane taxpayers/citizens.  Former Sheriff Tony Bamonte of Breaking Blue fame was one of the plaintiffs that stuck with this for some five years after the City failed to act in a reasonable manner on behalf of its citizens.

Read Tim Connor’s article at the Center for Justice’s website:

Scandal on Wheels

Published on December 4, 2010

AMR to pay nearly $2 million to settle class-action claims.

Of course the recent spate of officer involved shootings (OIS) should be of concern to all Spokane residents.  My biases definitely lie with the police rank and file. Some of these shootings have the element of suicide by cop.  Having said this, it’s very important that these OIS investigations are A+ level work product.  Not only whether these OISs were criminally justified or not but from the internal affairs aspect, were they within police policy, procedure and practice.  The internal affairs investigation/review  (IA) is a critical aspect of these investigations to determine if policy/procedure/training are in need of changing to prevent or lessen the occurrence of similar events in the future. And lastly, to minimize the financial risk in subsequent civil actions.  Local law enforcement has been less than transparent in this regard and the community is beginning to question whether these investigation are A+ level work.

For those interested in aspects of Spokane politics/government that are seldom reported by our local media for various reasons, I would highly recommend f the work of Larry Shook.  Larry Shook is an award winning investigative reporter and former publisher of Spokane Magazine.  Larry doesn’t post on a regular basis to his blog but what he does post is thoroughly sourced/researched with linked references:

Of course I will do a shout out for my blog that I post to on an infrequent basis.

I’m an old shop worn gum shoe that retired to Spokane that perhaps has too much time on his hands.  My sig other would really like to see me gainfully employed.  Hopefully I will be challenged by membership in this group to post more regularly.  Gee I may even make this a post:-)


I posted this additional comment in reply to another poster:

Thx Tom,

This aspect of the social networking/media is what Clay Sharky led with his book, Here Comes Everybody.  It was this sharing of information between members of the Boston Area Catholic Churches that broke the back of the decades old dirty little secret of pedophilia by priests.  The Church up until that point had been successful in compartmentalizing the flow of information that concealed the extent and subsequent cover up of these crimes.


A related bit from a comment on my FB page by Bob Apple a member of the Spokane City Council:

Bob Apple replied to my FB post and snipe re snow removal in Spokane:

“…The S-R article threads offer a useful debate site for substantive discussions that so far our political leaders have ignored and buried their heads in the sand while debating extensively the esoteric sustainability issues of our world, bike lanes, and dithering on how to best remove the snow in a timely manner as if it’s a surprise that it snows in Spokane.”

Bob Apple commented on your link.

“I’d like to review officer involved shootings but none of the final reports are ever provided and not because they haven’t been asked for. Apparently our City Administrators would only like us to talk about bike lanes and snow removal issues and really disregard anything having to do with labor issues. Problem is even snow removal has become a labor issue and were labor claims its barganing unit employees should be doing snow removal and our City officials can’t contract out work with private sector conracts and now apparently your City Council is, nolonger able to even hear about it. It all boils bown to the Mayor we have as expressed in City Charter and in determining who really runs our City?”