S-R Editor Steve Smith posted this comment regarding the today’s S-R article on public records disclosures. I posted a comment regarding the hypocrisy of the S-R continuing to maintain a relationship with Duane Swinton of Witherspoon & Kelley. For more on this see the Camas Magazine site for:

Duane Swinton and Cowles Inc.

Of course my comment has been censored already by the thought police:-)

Ron the Cop


Public records and the state audit

Posted by Steven A. Smith | 2 Apr 10:37 AM

Good morning,

Was anyone else surprised that, according to Rich Roesler in a Page 1 story this morning, Spokane County and the city of Spokane Valley fared well in a statewide audit of citizen access to public records? (Link here)

Our experience with those two entities isn’t quite that rosy.

But it is much better than our ongoing experience with the city of Spokane.

Marlene Feist, apparently having seen more of the audit than has been widely disclosed as yet, suggests the city did better than most.

Of course, Rich cites a case in which the city never did fulfill an auditor’s request for records of police travel.

The fact is, even with somewhat more open officials in city government these days, the default at City Hall, at least insofar as newspaper requests go, is to delay, delay, delay and then complain that the state should be paying for the costs of searching out the requested records.

Perhaps the final audit, when it’s released, will prompt some changes where they really need to take place — in the Spokane city attorney’s office.


There are 2 comments on this post. (XML Subscribe to comments on this post)

I remember in September 2005, Washington Attorney General McKenna visited the Lilac City, holding a public meeting requesting input from the public regarding the States AG office position re the freedom of information disclosures. He wanted public records more accessible to the public and expressed some of his thoughts making it easier for the citizens to obtain. McKenna stated, his objective was to introduce legislation to remove any obstacles that existed. He felt there were too many hoops to jump through when a person asked for records that they were entitled. I remember seeing, Dennis Hession and Rocky Treppiedi, in the audience. I remember Rocky Treppiedi publicly asking that the AG make it more difficult for citizens to get public information. It was Treppiedi`s position local governments were required to hand over too much information and that more records should be withheld and not be handed out to anybody. I was sitting near a group of Attorneys and I overheard some whispering how out of line Treppiedi`s statements were. On October 3, 2005 I wrote a letter to Hession giving him my thoughts regarding Treppiedi`s request to the AG and how outlandish they were and was just one more reason for the public not to trust city hall.

Posted by Dick Adams | 2 Apr 4:12 PM

Dear Mr. Smith,

Pot calling the kettle black Mr. Smith:-) What about the continued relationship of the S-R with Duane Swinton of Witherspoon & Kelley and withholding of certain documents of interest to the public?’

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

Posted by Det. Ron Wright (Retired) | 2 Apr 4:30 PM


Dr. John Olsen posted this comment regarding the ongoing debate on the proposed Spokane PD Ombudsman. I agreed with his assessment and so far my comment has survived the day:


Perhaps if Mayor Verner were to expand the “Oversight/Ombudsman” position’s responsibility to the wider view as a touchpoint with visibility/press .. it might find more community support?

I’ve learned over the past two years that pursuing grievance’s with law suits is not nearly so effective as “shining the light of the press and media” into the dark corners of our government and agencies that are purported to be here to help us. gus

Steve… hope your eye surgery is healing without complications… j

Posted by John a olsen | 4 Apr 6:35 AM

Dr. Olsen,

You are so correct and I concur.

Yes, it is the shinning light of an independent and engaged free press that serves as a fundamental independent check on the abuses of power of our government that WE THE PEOPLE choose to govern.

We are in the debt of our founding fathers that recognized and encouraged a diverse and vibrant free press which they empowered with great responsibility in the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.

This is what makes us fundamentally distinct from those repressive and totalitarian governments like the Iranian Regime. These regimes suppress the free flow of information and repress severely those who would criticize those who hold positions of power and trust. After all, all power flows from . . .


Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

Posted by Det. Ron Wright (Retired) | 4 Apr 8:57 AM