FYI – Mr. Holt is a Seattle attorney who was retained by the S-R to support S-R Reporter Jonathan Brunt’s efforts to secure the new Lewis docs sent to Mayor Verner earlier this year. His letter to the City of Spokane can be found here:

same arguments for the immediate release

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

Certified US Mail

August 27, 2008

William E. Holt
Gordan, Thomas et al
P. O. Box 1157
Tacoma, WA 98401-1157

Re: Spokesman-Review Reporter Jonathan Brunt’s Public Records Request for “O. Yale Lewis” Documents held by City of Spokane

Dear Mr. Holt:

I too am seeking the documents the City of Spokane’s first special bond counsel O. Yale Lewis sent to Spokane Mayor Mary Verner earlier this year. I am attaching my demand letter to the City Clerk for your information. I see we share the same arguments for the immediate release of these important documents. My sources indicate that these documents will criminally implicate certain elected/appointed officials in what was to become the River Park Square bond fraud (RPS). I did find your citing of the Court Order in Eugster v. City of Spokane of interest. What you may not be aware is the irony of this court order. Citys special bond counsel Laurel Siddoway who followed Lewis was moving to quash a Subpoena Duces Tecum on behalf of the City of Spokane for previous O. Yale Lewis documents. One these documents is a letter you note that the City Attorney’s Office has redacted from the current requests.

My sources indicate that it was the then Cowles Co attorneys of Witherspoon & Kelley that prevailed in the argument on Siddoway’s motion to quash. Siddoway’s motion to quash was denied. The court ordered the release of all of the documents that O. Yale Lewis relied upon to form his opinion re the RPS bond fraud. The irony here is that these documents evidenced the extent to which both Cowles Co entities, its surrogates and City elected/appointed officials worked in concert to perpetuate what was eventually become the RPS bond fraud. This fraud in my opinion was further compounded with the RPS “bailout” settlement by the subsequent parties who aided/abetted the ongoing criminal enterprise/conspiracy as I’ve outlined in my letter to the City Clerk.

The previous Lewis documents exposed the extent of the co-option of City officials by the Cowles Co that rendered Siddoway’s legal defense strategy moot that the City officials had been “duped/hoodwinked” by the Cowles Co. representatives. These City officials knew full well what was occurring and acquiesced to what was to become a robbery of the public treasury in broad daylight. The structuring of risk of the RPS project after the Cowles Co refused to sign a letter of credit for the $23M HUD loan put the City’s CDBG funds up as collateral in line before any assets of the RPS developer should the loan default. The City Attorney’s Office failed to disclose this in the Council’s public review session however warned the Council privately in a memo that was withheld from public disclosure. In essence this became a gift of public funds to a private entity when the RPS bonds subsequently defaulted. The RPS bond fraud will ultimately cost the citizens of Spokane almost $100M.

Ms. Siddoway was caught between a rock and a hard place in serving two masters e.g., complicit City officials and the stakeholders of the City of Spokane. Ms. Siddoway chose to shield the City officials from potential civil and criminal liability by “emasculating” the City’s bond fraud case that it bought out from the institutional bond investors by dropping the RPS developers from the City’s bond fraud case. See attached letter to the then Mayor Powers by renowned bond attorney Mark Schwartz. Why? Because pursuing this case to it logical conclusion would have exposed the criminal involvement of City officials in this fraud led by the Cowles Co. in this ongoing criminal enterprise/conspiracy.

Mr. Holt don’t fall into the same trap of serving two masters, as did Siddoway and Spokesman-Review Attorney Duane Swinton of Whitherspoon & Kelley. Mr. Swinton too was trying to represent both the interests of the S-R and the business interests of the Cowles Co. As you may be aware there was a bar complaint against Mr. Swinton by Tim Connor. The WSBA recently dismissed Connor’s complaint on appeal finding that there was only “one client” – the Cowles Co. However it was admitted there was a legitimate journalistic conflict of interest that the S-R and the Cowles Co must resolve internally. In the current effort to secure the release of the new Lewis documents there is an inherent conflict of interest between that of the S-R as the paper of record in Spokane and the Cowles Co. business interests and its potential civil and criminal liability in the RPS bond fraud.

From past S-R reporting and reading information at Camas Magazine including the IRS finding disallowing the tax exempt status of the I have concluded the S-R has been used by the Cowles Co as an instrumentality of the ongoing criminal enterprise/conspiracy to conceal its criminal acts from public scrutiny. I have challenged the S-R in the past to invoke the provisions of its much ballyhooed Code of Ethics re “Independence.” I don’t know if you were retained by the S-R invoking this provision but I am pleasantly surprised that Mr. Swinton is not representing the S-R in this case:

Stories about the company, its owners, business interests and executives will not be made available for pre-publication review by anyone outside the newsroom, (except legal counsel when that may be necessary). Limited and appropriate fact-checking is permitted, as it is with all outside sources.

When circumstances warrant, the editor or managing editor will contract with independent reporters and/or editors to report on Cowles Co. issues or organizations that The Spokesman-Review sponsors [My emphasis]. It is the responsibility of the editor and managing editor to maintain the newsroom’s independence in coverage of Cowles Co. interests.

I believe I was the source that led to S-R Reporter Brunt’s filing of the initial PDR for the new Lewis documents. My speculation is that Mr. Brunt will be allowed to run with this story until the interests of the Cowles Co are at significant risk and this story will be gutted and or killed, as have RPS stories in the past. In my opinion the Cowles Co knows full well what these new Lewis documents contain and are banking on its influence over the City Attorney’s Office that their release will be successfully blocked. City Attorney Craven’s letter has effectively intimidated the City Council warning them of personal liability should these documents be released (See attached copy). The City Attorney’s Office has been co-opted in the same manner as other complicit City officials as the release of these documents will expose them to both civil and criminal liability in the RPS bond fraud et al.

Mr. Holt will you too find yourself serving two masters? While according to the WSBA there is no legal conflict there is a moral and journalistic conflict of interest. I trust you will pursue these documents with the vigor that WE THE PEOPLE envisioned when we empowered the free press to be a watchdog on those whom WE THE PEOPLE choose to govern. Or will you aid in cuckolding the S-R’s new Code of Ethics? In the past there was little consequence in succumbing to the wishes of the Cowles Co. This has drastically changed for all involved with the recent announcement by the legendary former Sheriff Tony Bamont of Pend Oreille County, WA of his intent to bring a class action lawsuit on behalf of the citizens of Spokane in the RPS bond fraud et al:

BREAKING – Sheriff Bamonte headed for OK Corral – gunfight imminent (Murder and corruption Spokane, WA)

In case you aren’t aware the City Attorney is now requesting another thirty days to review my letter of demand for the Lewis documents (See attached copy).
Det. Ron Wright (Retired)

3327 Indian Trail Rd., PMB135
Spokane, WA 99208


CD Disk with following files:

MS Word doc of this letter with HTML links
Demand letter to City Clerk 07-22-08
Attorney Mark Schwartz’s letter to Mayor Powers
Complaint Letter to US Attorney Jeffrey Sullivan, Seattle, WA
City Attorney James Craven’s letter to Council 02-08-08
City Clerk’s letter of 08-15-08


Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, County of Spokane, WA
Mayor Mary Verner, City of Spokane, WA
City Council, City of Spokane, WA
City Clerk, City of Spokane, WA
U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sullivan, Seattle, WA
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Hermanns, Seattle, WA
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Westinghouse, Seattle, WA
Agent Frank Harvill, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokane, WA
Sgt. Ken Wade, Washington State Patrol, Spokane, WA
Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, City of Spokane, WA
Sheriff Bamonte (Former – Pend Oreille County), Spokane, WA
Breean Beggs, Center for Justice, Spokane, WA
Tim Connor, Spokane, WA
Cherie Rodgers (Former Council member), Spokane, WA
Larry Shook, Spokane, WA
Mayor John Talbott (Former), Spokane, WA