Pin It
Favorite

And So It Begins... 

A federal lawsuit alleges Spokane County withheld meds for a mentally ill inmate; plus, who's running for office?

Lawsuit challenges jail policy

A newly filed federal lawsuit alleges that Spokane County, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and jail officials violated a 19-year-old bipolar inmate's civil rights by failing to provide essential mental health medications for nine days despite repeated attempts by the man's family to arrange treatment. The family argues that jail medication policies contain widespread delays and contradictions that result in unnecessary suffering and safety risks.

Danny Lee, who has bipolar and other impulse disorders, was booked into the Spokane County Jail in May of 2013. His family says they had notified the jail in advance of his medication needs, obtained a court order approving meds and supplied pharmacy-sealed bottles of his prescribed medications. The lawsuit states that jail staff refused the meds, citing security protocols.

The family's attorney, Jeffry Finer, says several others have come forward with similar complaints about delays in receiving medical or mental health medications while incarcerated at the county jail or Geiger Corrections Center.

John McGrath, director of county Detention Services, has acknowledged inconsistencies in jail medication policies and launched a review of practices. Knezovich, who oversaw jail operations until June of 2013, says he considers the lawsuit legal retaliation for the son's incarceration.

"I don't really believe that it is that big of an issue," Knezovich says. "We have one individual who is trying to make it an issue."

— JACOB JONES

Tightening the purse strings

When Councilman Steve Salvatori decided earlier this year to gift $15,000 to the city's warming center program for the homeless, the reaction was almost universally positive. But then came the rest of the details. Among other expenditures, Salvatori had also transferred $5,000 to the Spokane Angel Alliance, an entrepreneurship group of which he is a board member. That spurred complaints that Salvatori and Council President Ben Stuckart, who signed off on the spending, had violated the city's code of ethics. In a 3-3 tie last week, the city's ethics committee dismissed those complaints, but changes to council policy may result from the controversy.

The money Salvatori allocated had been set aside for a full-time legislative assistant, which the councilman says he doesn't need.

Last month, former Council President Joe Shogan complained that Salvatori's role on the Angel Alliance board created a conflict of interest. The city's code of ethics bans both conflicts of interest and their appearance. Despite the complaint being dismissed, the council is now discussing changes to its internal policy that would prevent councilmembers from spending money allocated for assistants on other things, except through emergency budget ordinances, which are voted on by the entire council. A vote on the policy change is expected next month.

— HEIDI GROOVER

Who's running?

Filing week for candidates running for office in Washington state began on Monday. Statewide, 10 U.S. Congressional seats will be up for grabs on this year's ballot, as are all 98 state House seats and roughly half of the state Senate's 49 seats. Candidates have until Friday to officially enter the 2014 race. Here's a look at some of the local candidates who've filed so far:

In the 5th Congressional District, Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is officially seeking her sixth term in office. Independent Dave Wilson, the founder and former president of Interface College in Spokane, has filed to run against McMorris Rodgers.

Rep. Leonard Christian, R-Spokane Valley, who was tapped to fill former Rep. Larry Crouse's seat after his retirement from the legislature, is running for his 4th District House seat. Bob McCaslin Jr., son of late 4th District Sen. Bob McCaslin, also filed to run.

The primaries will be held on Aug. 5. The general election will take place on Nov. 4.

— DEANNA PAN

Tags: ,

  • Pin It

Speaking of Briefs

  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Waiting Game
  • Waiting Game

    (Most) statewide initiatives meet filing deadline; plus, ex-Spokane police chief again draws a paycheck
    • Jul 14, 2016
  • A Second Look
  • A Second Look

    Court of Appeals clarifies state law awarding wrongfully convicted people compensation; plus, what is Just Want Privacy hiding?
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • More »

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jacob Jones

More by Heidi Groover

  • Brachytherapy Breakthrough
  • Brachytherapy Breakthrough

    A new option for treating skin cancer skips the scalpel
    • Dec 1, 2014
  • It's Exploding
  • It's Exploding

    Why lawmakers and cops are worried about people blowing themselves up
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • GU Shake-Up
  • GU Shake-Up

    The woman overseeing reports of sexual assault at Gonzaga resigns; plus, a new study on Lakeland Village
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • More »

More by Deanna Pan

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The Price of Progress
  • The Price of Progress

    Why the Spokane Tribe says it's still owed for Grand Coulee Dam
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • Kids' Court
  • Kids' Court

    Local defense attorneys have noticed a change in Prosecutor Larry Haskell's juvenile justice system
    • Nov 12, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation