Here’s my opinion of Sheriff Kenzovich’s offer to lead the SPD in an email I sent to Mayor-elect Dave Condon:

Mr. Condon,

The day after the your debate with Mayor Verner where the issue of the possible consolidation of the SO/SPD crimes against property unit was discussed, I saw Sheriff Knezovich having lunch with Mayor Verner in the food court of RPS. While there may be some benefits of consolidating these departments, now is not the best time to move forward on these discussions until the immediate issues with SPD are resolved.

I would encourage you to read the comments in S-R Brunt’s article thread. Your initial gut response was correct:

Sheriff offers to lead SPD

Talk of policing merger renewed as city makes transition

And the earlier version of this article:

Knezovich offers to lead Spokane Police Department

Mayor-elect David Condon said Thursday that he is open to Knezovich’s offer, but added that he’s heard from other potential candidates, too. Spokane Mayor Mary Verner has said she plans to start a national search for a police chief so that a process is underway when Condon becomes mayor. Condon said he’s OK with Verner moving ahead with a search as long as the selection is made after he becomes mayor.

Condon said he wants his transition team to consider whether he should pursue a consolidation with the sheriff’s office.

“Simply put, it’s on the table,” said Condon, adding that he’s also open to considering interim Assistant Chief Scott Stephens for a temporary role as chief while final plans are being assembled. “As a political leader I owe it to myself to understand what it means. By no means is it something I take lightly.”

I still maintain the best course of action is to:

Request that Asst. US Attorney Tim Durkin via US Attorney Michael Ormsby expand the current criminal investigation of the overt cover-up of the Zehm death to include and who were complicit and or aided and abetted for obstruction of justice.

Request of the US Department of Justice, Office of Civil Rights initiate a pattern and practice investigation of SPD

And lastly call upon the Spokane County Commissioners to require that all OIS/OID investigations be reviewed by an inquest panel, presided over by a superior court judge before a jury pulled from the jury pool under the rule of law and evidence.

I would add now:

Call upon Chief Kirkpatrick to leave now and bring in an interim police chief to manage the department until a new Chief can be selected.

There are potential local candidates that could fill this need that are familiar with the department, the personnel and the issues now facing SPD.   I’ve heard through my sources that Asst. Chief Scott Stephens should be considered to serve as an interim chief.  Chief Kirkpatrick’s contract can be bought out to give her the pension service credit she wants.  Although IMO I think she should be fired now.

This will accomplish in an expeditious manner what the citizens of Spokane are demanding without having to rely on local and state political action and other related MOU issues with the Guild.  The Issue of civilian oversight on other matters can be discussed in the meantime.

The Sheriff will have his hands full with the Creach family’s wrongful death civil suit that was filed in federal court yesterday.   See the attached information regarding the Creach family filing a federal civil rights case against Sheriff Knezovich et al.  The Sheriff may also find himself enmeshed in any expanded federal criminal investigation of local law enforcement practices.

The Sheriff is fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the death of the Jo Ellen Savage in the RPS parking garage.  The Sheriff did very little to counter it’s cover-up by Steve Tucker.   Both former Sheriff Bamonte and I believe there was compelling probable cause for her death to be investigated as a First Degree Manslaughter under WA State Law.   The public narrative facilitated by the reporting of the Spokesman-Review that this case was seriously reviewed by the feds and that there was a federal grand jury review of the facts/evidence of the Savage death is a red herring and false respectively  We both have a very extensive paper trail where we brought this cover-up to the attention of both Sheriff Knezovich and Chief Kirkpatrick. Please see Sheriff Bamonte’s attached letter to Sheriff Knezovich dated 01-13-09.

The Sheriff’s has a close political relationship with County Prosecutor Steve Tucker.  So far this local cozy LE relationship with Tucker has allowed these problematic OIS/OIDs to be swept under the rug.  In my research no one will ask the hard questions.  Tucker will not ensure these investigations are complete and thorough.   These investigations while going through the motions have not been a real search for the truth e.g., Zehm, Creach, Dodd and there may be more.  Instead these investigations have concluded, “We did nothing wrong . . . nothing here to see . . . move along.”

The Sheriff is very popular with the citizens and to his credit has been more transparent than the SPD.  The citizens believe that the Sheriff would bring the much needed leadership that the SPD so desperately needs.  Out of the limelight however there are others including me who believe this would not be in the best interests of the SPD and or the citizens at this critical time.

See the comments below some of which I can attribute to the source.


From former State Senator Bumgarner


From: garybumgarner

To: Thomas Clouse;Doug Clark

Sent: 11/18/2011 12:40:00 PM

Subject: Knezovich

Can you believe the arrogance of Sheriff Knezovich offering to lead the Spokane Police Department at a time like this when he himself condoned the shooting of Scott Creach by deputy Brian Hirzel?  Knezovich is as guilty of covering up brutality as anyone in the Spokane Police Department.  I spent an hour one on one with Ozzie as he justified the killing, and he didn’t convince me one bit.  In my opinion Ozzie should go out at the same time as Hirzel.  It is unbelievable that we tax payers will have to cover the settlements over the Zehm and Creach deaths by the over zealous law enforcement officers of our community who have been supported by their training superiors to use violent means to subdue innocent citizens without properly identifying them.   I hope Mayor elect Condon will dismiss the sheriff’s offer without consideration.

( I would be pleased to see this message appear in the letters to the editor, and you have my permission to route it appropriately.)

Thank you for your great reporting.

Gary D. Bumgarner

Spokane, WA 99224


Bob Apple 

I think this possibility was hinted at about a week ago in the media.  A benefit could be if then, large enough to have an independent Internal Affairs Branch Department to investigate and report as expected from City Ombudsman with even punitive recommendations, then it could be an overall good thing.  However presently the cover-up attitude within the Sherriff and the County Prosecutor are just as pronounced as in the City of Spokane’s executive staff.


Me too….a bold shot at regional government….I do not like it! City government power needs to balance county government power, as well as state powers balancing federal powers….I hate all of my ‘governing eggs” in one basket!!!


Dick Adams to Ron
show details 10:53 AM (10 hours ago)  

The citizens of Spokane should all be indebted to you for what you have been doing to expose the culprits.

I can`t believe the sheriff, who was a party in the cover-up of the Otto Zehm crime, thinks most of the Spokanites would even consider him. If it wasn`t so serious, where Ozzie is offering to fill in for Spokane`s police, its really laughable. Personally I believe the sheriff is corrupted along with the other    lowlife officials.

Dickthis guy should not repeat not be given any opportunity to lead the SPD – he has a sufficient amount of poor leadership traits to frankly also make him seriously unqualified……….


I think the initial . . . Investigation  and the second investigation or lack thereof is a good  way to descibe his charachter to the decision makers regarding takeover of SPD.

Recent retired employees of the Sheriff should also be contacted and questioned regarding his integrity and ethics.  I can provide names…These people are very credible..


Knezovich offers to lead Spokane Police Department

Wake me up and tell me I did not read this statement above.

Is he trying to duck under the bullets at the range from the Creech 11 million dollar law suit against the County? His judgment in that case was full of more holes than a mafia guy sitting in a barber’s chair. . .

Is it possible we could plummet down hill from Kirkpatrick to Knezovich?

K to K does not make anyone’s day.

I always ask myself when I read this stuff, What next?

Maybe John Powers will come back and have a roof top dinner at the INB center.

  Lord, Help us All,  Have a terrific Friday in the River City, Jock