Shannon Sullivan the one who filed the recall on Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker appeared yesterday on the Mike Fitzsimmons Show on KXLY 920AM. This show was recorded and can be listened to here:
CTRL+CLICK to follow…..should start downloading immediately.
Mike Fitzsimmons can be a tough critic and will challenge those who come on his show. I listened to this show and sent this email to Mike today.
The only way evil can prevail is if good people do nothing!
Thanks for inviting Shannon on your show. You are a tough critic but Shannon had the cojones to go on the air with you. I realize you will weigh in with your legal training/knowledge in attempt to vet your guests for your listeners. Also of course your show is not a news show but a commentary. You are entitled to your opinion that Tucker’s inaction in office doesn’t rise to the level of justifying a recall. Further the voters if dissatisfied with Tucker can choose to vote him out at the next election.
What you didn’t ask is why Shannon is out front on this. See this answer I posted on Rick’s FaceBook page:
Ron T. Cop Because she resonates with the people that are uniformed about the ways of Tucker who are the ones who will vote him out of office if the recall petition is approved. If it wasn’t for Shannon the media wouldn’t be interested in this story. They probably wouldn’t give former Sheriff Bamonte or me the time of day because those in LE leadership have tried to marginalize, dismiss and or discredit us and thereby our concerns/critique of the invs of certain problematic OIS/OIDs we’ve tried to raise. Trust me Shannon is passionate about recalling Tucker. She doesn’t want to be in the forefront right now but circumstances dictate she take a leading role right now. The regular public is inclined to believe at LE leaders will tell the people because they don’t understand the inner workings of LE. A case of trust us we’re the professionals - nothing here to see move on. Obviously this wasn’t the case in the Zehm death. Bamonte and I are and our trying to educate the people that we have a problem. First and foremost a lot can be attributed to Tucker’s abdication of his sworn oath and goes along with the flow and won’t speak out
Of course I disagree for the reasons I’ve outlined below re the Zehm case and Tucker’s inability to ferret out that an ongoing overt cover-up was in the works in the Zehm case. He sanctioned the rat holing of the video for a number of months until the CFJ/S-R pried it loose and Asst. Nicks had to admit he misled the press and didn’t correct this mistake. Tucker and his office either knew or should have known that this cover-up was in the works. Instead they went with the flow. In my opinion if not malfeasance in office was misfeasance and or a violation of his oath of office. The case against Tucker is additive/cumulative over his three terms in office.
Where was the media in seeking the truth in the Zehm case? IMO I don’t think we as citizens can afford to wait another three years before Tucker stands for election in three years. Much of what we now know about the Zehm case did not come out until after the last election because of the feds getting their nose under the tent, impaneling a fed grand jury to get statements from reluctant witnesses and exposed the high level cover-up. We now know high level officers, the Office of the City Attorney - Treppiedi, and the Office of the Mayor were complicit in the cover-up. The Mayor’s and the Chief’s continued support of Ofc. Thompson actions after the feds filed their proffer to get Treppiedi nose out of their criminal case is totally disingenuous. They were both lying through their teeth and or didn’t have enough sense to seek other legal advice beside relying on Treppiedi.
The Mayor should have pulled the plug instead of attempting to minimize potential liability to the City. What could have been handled rather cheaply will now probably cost the City upwards of $10M dollars.
In short whomever writes the 200 word ballot summary can pick and choose among the four allegations. It will be for a court to decide as to the legal sufficiency of the charges. By statute and case law the court will not address whether the charges are true only that the charges are appropriate to that office and what is being alleged isn’t matter of discretion of that office. The trier of fact is THE VOTERS as to whether the allegations are true. This is not a legal action but a political action. The burden of proof is what the voters believe. The voters will then decide YES/NO whether Tucker should be recalled.
Mike I normally agree with you philosophically and ideologically but in this case I think you’re being a little hypocritical. You were attacking the messenger who at least has the cojones to speak out when she sees injustice. I don’t see many others stepping up to the plate. You are always encouraging people to get out and hold their elected accountable. This is one of those time.
Look in the last election IMO the voters are fickle especially when it comes to local office holders list way done on the ballot. The two good Republican candidates took themselves out in the primary leaving Malone (D) to challenge Tucker. It was a R year and those who were somewhat uniformed were included to vote for Tucker. There were considerable voters that voted for Malone. Tucker slickly continued to say he had the endorsement of Sheriff Knezovich which Knezovich did nothing to counter. Further Tucker was not endorsed by the County Republican Party which was a strong statement.
Lastly we disagree re whether we have a problem with the local LE leadership. I’m sorry we do.
I took the time today to go back into the SR archives and read all the stories involving Otto Zehm’s death, officer involved shootings, Tucker stories and other LE incidents that created a public stir. I have read every other news account, citizen’s comment and information I could find involving our region’s controversial issues. I feel dirty. As a tax paying citizen and a fellow human being, I think I should have camped on the doorsteps of the courthouse and screamed for change and accountability until they hauled me away. I have been critical of Sullivan’s recall efforts because I questioned her motives and feel she just wasn’t the person for the job, but she is at least stepping up. We ALL need to do just that before more lives are damaged or lost needlessly. Write a letter, sign a petition, go to a city council meeting, speak up. Take back our community. I am also ashamed of all the so called “good cops” out there. Your silence speaks for itself. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it in memory of all those who died, harmed and otherwise victimized by a system out of control. I urge you all to educate yourself on all that has transpired by all news sources and anything else you can find good or bad. If nothing else, you will realize a change was due long ago. If you ask yourself how this could happen. Look in the mirror.
Thanks for your excellent comment. I had this in the works but hadn’t posted it yet.
The regulars have thoroughly discussed this recall effort now underway in two previous S-R article threads. Feel free to weigh in on this important community debate pro, con and or undecided:
Contrary to what some of our elected or appointed believe, they have become complacent in their positions and or have failed to uphold their sworn duties and responsibilities.
It is WE THE PEOPLE that empower them to govern. It is WE THE PEOPLE that also must hold them accountable
Some believe there have been too many police involved related deaths of “friendlies.” There are others that believe the actions of those who died were the fundamental cause.
IMO in which I’ve been outspoken there has been a failure of police leadership to lead by example and demand excellence of the police rank and file. Civilian law enforcement is very challenging and frequently calls for split second decisions. While somewhat physically dangerous, it’s much more mentally challenging and stressful. This stress leads to shortened life spans of police office because of stress induced illnesses. Also there is a distinct difference between the rules of engagement of the military in a war zone and that of civilian law enforcement in a civil society. Civilian law enforcement must not devolve into them vs. us . After all it is we who are the police and the police are us.
Police leadership must set the tone. Mistakes will be made as police officers are only human. However when mistakes are made the leadership must recognize them and work to correct policies, procedures and practice to minimize them from happening again.
From the Zehm case it is clear in some of these deaths police leaders will attempt to conceal mistakes in order to limit potential liability. In the Zehm case there was an active cover-up by high ranking police officials, the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Mayor. This is UNACCEPTABLE as the necessary changes will not occur and the liability to the taxpayers will only grow.
If the US Attorney’s Office/US DOJ continues with its criminal investigation to seek out all those who were complicit in the cover-up and does pattern and practice investigation, this will correct many of the underlying causes that led to our current state of affairs. The citizens recognized this need for change in the last election. A otherwise popular mayor was not returned to office because of her disingenuous statements and failure to act decisively in the Zehm case. What remains to be done is to hold others in the criminal justice system that failed to act as well. In the case of Tucker he may be beyond the scope of the current federal criminal investigation.
IMO Steve Tucker abdicated his office and violated his sworn oath to the people. More so than anyone else it is the County Prosecutor’s duty and responsibility to ensure these OIS/OID investigations are thorough and a real search for the truth. Tucker more than anyone else could have raised the professional bar in these investigations. Instead of accepting at face value these investigations from the police by sending these investigations back for further work and and forcing the HARD QUESTIONS to be asked. Not that this would have resulted in criminal charges be filed but it would have helped uncover mistakes when they were made so they could be addressed and dealt with openly instead of sweeping them under the rug. Instead Tucker deferred to those police leaders that swept these incidents under the rung.
[Continued from above]
Some have argued that Tucker can be held accountable at the next election. I respectfully disagree as he still has three years in office. We can’t financially afford his inaction in office. The Zehm case alone will probably cost upwards of $10 million dollars. Yes the City is reinsured above $2M by this will be reflected in higher premium costs and or failure to get such insurance.
The Creach civil federal civil rights case has now been filed and likely will end up costing more money too. I’M NOT SAYING that the facts and circumstance in the Creach case warranted a criminal filing but there are civil wrongful death issues that a jury must now deliberate on. The SPD led Creach OIS investigation was not a stellar work product which compromised the subsequent IA investigation by the SO.
Because LE officials are reluctant to admit that mistakes were made, it is unknown whether the necessary changes in police policy, procedure and training have been done e.g., unmarked police cars used for regular patrol and training re encountering armed citizens. IMO opinion the single most critical factor in this OIS was the use of the unmarked police unit for regular patrol. As an aside IMO such use is not permitted under existing exception in the RCWs for unmarked police vehicle. Both Mr. Creach and Deputy Hirzel made mistakes that led to a catastrophic failure.
The question remains have changes been made to minimize a similar incident from happening again?