Way back in September, the Inlander
made a series of phone calls to Spokane Police Lt. Mark Griffiths, hoping to get him to confirm that he was in a relationship with Monique Cotton, the former police spokeswoman. It was a piece of the puzzle in trying to answer why Police Chief Straub was forced out.
But Griffiths would never call back. And while a series of records requested hinted at a relationship between the two — it was Griffiths who helped
Cotton clean out her office, for example — Cotton's attorney has now confirmed it with the Inlander.
So why is this relevant?
A few reasons:
1. A March 31 confrontation in Straub's office happened because of a disagreement for how the city handled Griffiths' overtime, records indicate. It was Griffiths who wrote up the most scathing portrayal of the meeting.
He turned his attention to Director Cotton and told he blamed her for not telling him yesterday. He said that she knew more and should have told him. She said that Chief Smith told her that the issue between Griffiths and Torok was being handled. She also said she did not have all the facts and that she was not in my chain of command so it was not appropriate to get involved. She said that she had suggested to Chief Straub that he follow up with Lt. Griffiths because she thought there was more to the story regarding Capt. Torok’s disapproval of my overtime. He continued to yell at her, saying that she “fucked him,” made him look like a “fucking asshole,” and that she fucked him in the ass and broke the dick off.” Director Cotton was tearing up and it appeared that she was fighting back from crying at this point and he continued to yell at her. Twice she motioned with the “time out motion and said “why am I even here?”
2. Griffiths signed the letter urging Straub's ouster, the same day
that Cotton sent out an email to the media fervently denying the rumors of an inappropriate relationship between Straub and herself.
3. It further complicates the city's lack of investigation. Mary Schultz, Straub's attorney, argues that it highlights the illegitimacy of Straub's firing.
4. Bob Dunn, Cotton's attorney, says Schultz's claims are "delusional."
"The whole notion is idiotic," Dunn tells the Inlander
this morning, following a report in the Spokesman-Review
. "I can't imagine how [Cotton and Griffiths' relationship] relates to anything exonerating Straub from his conduct where he acted like some sort of raving mad man in front of his staff. Unless he felt like in his head that he was dating Ms. Cotton. And if that's the case, that makes it worse."
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