Climategate/RPS Bond Fraud, and the Savage manslaughter were failures of critical thinking skills

[Note:  I’m starting a new post on S-R Gary Crooks’ censoring my comments in the S-R blog’s open thread that went quickly to Climategate from my previous post on Climategate]

Mr. Crooks [associate editor/editorial writer for the Spokesman-Review],

I see you left my reply to your retort in the open thread at S-R’s “A Matter of Opinion” blog that my analogy regarding Climategate/RPS Bond Fraud, and the Savage manslaughter were failures of critical thinking skills was a, “. . . creative attempt to press your silly conspiracy:”

<Your analogy is just another creative attempt to press your silly conspiracy. Try another analogy if climate change is your real concern.>

Be careful this is something I do really know about from my thirty-five years as a criminal investigator. Care to start another thread without selectively removing posts and I will defend my professional opinion openly. I have the evidence to back my play. BTW this started out as an open thread. So why pull comments?

Actually in view of today’s WSJ OP/ED piece that I linked to, my analogy was dead on the mark.  A credentialed researcher, a MIT professor of meteorology, is calling this a, “. . . ‘bait and switch’ scam. . . .”

What does all this have to do with climate catastrophe? The answer brings us to a scandal that is, in my opinion, considerably greater than that implied in the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (though perhaps not as bad as their destruction of raw data): namely the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe. This is the grossest of “bait and switch” scams. It is only such a scam that lends importance to the machinations in the emails designed to nudge temperatures a few tenths of a degree.

The notion that complex climate “catastrophes” are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate. Many disasters associated with warming are simply normal occurrences whose existence is falsely claimed to be evidence of warming. And all these examples involve phenomena that are dependent on the confluence of many factors.

Our perceptions of nature are similarly dragged back centuries so that the normal occasional occurrences of open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc. are all taken as omens, portending doom due to our sinful ways (as epitomized by our carbon footprint). All of these phenomena depend on the confluence of multiple factors as well.

And from excerpt from my comment that was censored:

If I might take this failure of critical thinking ability in the climate debate to the the micro economic level. There are many parallels to such flawed policy decision making in Spokane. Spokane has a penchant for making such decisions in secret to the detriment of its citizens. Those who would dare openly criticize the conventional wisdom/thinking are ruthlessly marginalized and dismissed as eccentrics. Dare I say RPS et al and now the MOBIUS Project? Such decision making made without transparency can have fatal consequences e.g., the death of Jo Savage.

It is my professional opinion based on my experience as a thirty-year criminal investigator, Co Prosecutor Steve Tucker threw the Savage manslaughter case just like a prize fighter would throw a title fight. Tucker made sure that no impartial jury would ever see and hear the very damning evidence and testimony to decide the guilt or innocence of the owners. There never was a complete and thorough criminal investigation done that followed the evidence wherever it would lead. Those in our law enforcement community have said Savage’s death was reviewed by three different bodies. True but this review was seriously flawed. As I wrote Tucker and later the AG’s Office, any filing decision without first having a complete and thorough criminal investigation to review would be flawed and disingenuous at best. Tucker in his conclusion that there was “insufficient evidence” to warrant a criminal filing was lying by omission to the citizens of Spokane. Tucker was never challenged by the media on his decision. Why? I will be surprised if my opinion survives the day as Mr. Crooks or Mr. Floyd will kill it ala the CRU folks who disdain critics.

I see someone pulled my post in response to your quip:

Gary Crooks on November 30 at 4:25 p.m.

<<Be careful this is something I do really know about from my thirty-five years as a criminal investigator. >>

Finally! Something you know about. Other investigators don’t concur.
The rehash isn’t happening here.

As I said I was not “rehashing” anything as no “hashing” was ever done in the first place re the death of Jo Savage in the RPS Parking Garage.  No complete and thorough criminal investigation was ever done into the Savage death that followed the evidence wherever it would go.  For the record if I had been the case agent assigned to this investigation I would have immediately used the U.S. Attorney’s information as the basis for the issuance of multiple search warrants to be served simultaneously at many Spokane locations to secure the evidence that Mr. Tucker declared was lacking.  I would have used the extensive documentation of Tim Connor and Larry Shook (Camas Magazine and Girl from Hot Springs) to establish probable cause to believe that multiple felonies occurred that directly led to the death of Jo Savage; and to gather the necessary evidence to prove the elements of manslaughter.  I would have interviewed witnesses who had direct knowledge of the potential culpability of the garage owners.

I’m professionally calling out the these investigators you cite for their failure to do the job that they are sworn to do on behalf of the people.  As I wrote above Tucker threw the Savage case just like a prizefighter would throw a title fight.  Tucker tied the AG’s hands in reviewing the evidence he received from the US Attorney’s Office.  The AG’s Office knowingly let its hands be tied and by its review/findings gave Tucker political cover for his finding that there was insufficient evidence to charge the owners of the RPS Parking Garage with manslaughter.  Tucker announced he would not file any criminal charges in the Savage case at the 11th hour before the statute of limitations ran out.  This effectively precluded any other law enforcement agency from doing the necessary criminal investigation to seek criminal charges.  Tucker made sure that no impartial jury would ever see and hear the very damning evidence and testimony to decide the guilt or innocence of the owners.  I  wrote both the AG’s Office and Tucker several times expressing my concerns that no complete and thorough criminal investigation had been done (See my letter of 04-21-09 to WA Asst. AG Marlow).  I gave them constructive notice that any filing decision without having a complete and thorough criminal investigation to review would be flawed and disingenuous at bestIn my letters I listed several statutory means by which the AG’s Office could have gained jurisdiction in the Savage case

I’m including the letters I received from the Savage family that were sent to Tucker and the AG that I secured via a PDR of the AG’sl Office.   These explosive letters and email from the family of Jo Savage were apparently dismissed or ignored in the Attorney General’s review of the material submitted by Tucker in addition to the materials that Sheriff Bamonte and I sent.  These letters and email were sent by David Savage, the former husband of Jo Savage and a prominent personal injury attorney and former president of the WA State Bar Association, Savage’s current wife Sally Savage, a former Senior Assistant WA Attorney General, and Rob Rembert of David Savage’s law firm that handled the $1.6M successful civil wrongful death case on behalf of the Savage family.

[David Savage]. . . it is important, however, that all those responsible for this matter understand I firmly believe the information placed in Mr. Tucker’s hands, and now yours [WA AG Rob McKenna](which includes the fruits of my work, the work of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a Grand Jury), clearly describes culpable criminal conduct [Emphasis added].  The owners of the garage knew for years prior to Jo’s death of the very structural infirmity that resulted in it.  Nevertheless, they chose not to correct the problem.

Rob Rembert also sent a letter to Tucker offering the Savage law firm’s entire civil case file.  David Savage also shared Rembert’s letter with the AG’s Office and Governor Christine Gregoire.  Rembert  wrote Tucker:

On behalf of the Savage family, I write to offer assistance from our files which support the settlement we achieved on the claims of one million six hundred and ten thousand dollars ($1,610,000.00) with the insurers for the Cowles.  Based upon our investigation, it is clear that the owners of the parking garage had longstanding and detailed knowledge that the spandrels were likely to fail as the result of foreseeable vehicular contact.  Despite this knowledge, the owners took no corrective action notwithstanding the fact that several engineers recommended it well prior to Ms. Savage’s death. . . . [Emphasis added]

Despite the fact that more than sixteen years had elapsed between the time of the first occurrence of which we know and April 2006 and several engineering recommendations had been made to revise the spandrels, the owners took no action to address this serious public safety issues of which they had specific knowledge. Given these facts, I trust you can understand why we feel strongly that this matter warrants a careful criminal investigation.  Because of the Cowles’ prominence and the City’s involvement with the garage [it] is imperative that your investigation be supported by the Washington State Patrol, a law enforcement agency of the highest integrity. . . [Emphasis added]

. . . These files include a careful reconstruction of the occurrence by John Habberstad, Ph.D, of Origin Engineering, who concluded that the speed of Ms. Savage’s vehicle on contact was less tha five miles per hours (a speed and impact insufficient to deploy the vehicle’s air bags).  Our files contain extensive photographs of Mrs. Savage’s vehicle, the garage, and the failed spandrel.  We also have copies of all of the media video coverage at the time of the occurrence.  Finally, we have a number of witness declarations and extensive interview notes.

The evidence clearly shows that the state AG and Tucker conspired to illegally withhold evidence supporting the filing of manslaughter charges in the death of Jo Savage. The Savage law firm put both parties on notice of their illegal actions.

In a normal political environment an inquisitive free press would serve as a check by educating and informing its readers on this abuse of power and lack of action by their governmental entities.  These intertwined stories have great news value – The RPS Bond Fraud, the manslaughter death of Jo Savage, the underlying causes and their subsequent cover-ups.  This story would be Page One Above the Fold in the paper of record.  The press as a governmental watchdog by its reporting would drive public opinion that in turn would hold those elected/appointed officials accountable for their actions. Unfortunately in Spokane such information is squelched because the perpetrators own the local newspaper of record, The Spokesman-ReviewThe S-R functions as an instrumentality of this ongoing criminal enterprise/conspiracy to conceal its criminal acts by its self-censorship and under reporting of stories that involve the business/real estate interests of its owners – the Cowles Co.

Mr. Camden and Mr. Brunt as well as your city editors have had these explosive letters for many months and yet no story by the S-R.  Why no S-R story?  This is the point others are trying to make re the current Climategate debate re diminishing/marginalizing critics whether there is any casual effect or not of CO2 in global warming models.

I see you or Mr. Floyd (I believe Doug may still me on vacation), pulled my comment from the S-R blog discussion thread.

Ron_the_Cop on November 30 at 6:46 p.m.


Catch yourself muttering, “Out damn’d spot?” Or perhaps former S-R Editor Steve Smith was heard to mutter this at the end of his employ with the S-R:

“Lady Macbeth:

Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!—One; two: why, then
’tis time to do’t.—Hell is murky.—Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and
afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our
pow’r to accompt?—Yet who would have thought the old man to
have had so much blood in him?”

The irony of Lady McBeth’s lament is quite apropos as previously stated by a newsroom source of Larry Shook’s and i confirmed in general by now retired S-R veteran investigative reporter Bill Morlin – The Stench That Won’t Go Away – the bloodstains of Jo Savage on the S-R newsroom floor won’t go away no matter how hard you try to cover them up or wash them away:

The Stench That Won’t Go Away
How The Spokesman-Review’s credibility crisis turned deadly

Nevertheless, Morlin generally agrees with the anonymous Spokesman-Review reporter who told me that the paper’s reporting of the Cowles mall created a stench.

Choosing his words carefully, Morlin put it this way: “It’s my belief that the newspaper’s coverage of the development phases and the public/private financial arrangement surrounding River Park Square left a credibility stench that is still lingering in the newsroom and the community. My comment is not directed at any one single person that’s a current or former member of our staff. It’s sort of a general observation I’m directing at a variety of people.” [My emphasis]

Do you feel lucky Mr. Crooks?

This story will eventually break.  The truth seeks to be free.  The Cowles Co can no longer control the free flow of information with the advent of the new/alternative/social media.  The Catholic Church’s long held dirty little secret was finally exposed by the new media in Boston in 2002 (See Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody).  Former Sheriff Bamonte and I are in the final stages of preparing a federal civil RICO prosecution action against those responsible and all those that aided and or abetted in these crimes and or assisted in their cover-ups.  The citizens of Spokane and the family of Jo Savage have a fundamental right to ensure that justice is served when their political/ governmental law enforcement and decision making bodies can’t or won’t act because of their systemic co-option/ corruption.  In our legal system – NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

PS – See the attached article by a colleague of mine re such critical thinking skills that I used as a basis for my analogy that will appear in the January issue of The Futurist.

Deciding Our Futures
As the world becomes more complex, the likelihood of making poor decisions about our future increases, as does the cost of bad outcomes.
This special section offers insights from futurists on ways that we can come to grips with the flaws in our decision-making processes and improve our strategies for making critical decisions about the future. PDF Available.
Decision Making Under Pressure by Stan Shapiro
Decision Modeling by The Futures Group International
Robust Decision Making: Coping with Uncertainty by Robert J. Lempert, Steven W. Popper, and Steven C. Bankes
Managing Your Mind by Michael J. Mauboussin