Pin It

Police Payback 

Spokane City Council agrees to remain silent about a payout for a once-fired cop

click to enlarge Spokane Detective Jeff Harvey: fired and rehired
  • Spokane Detective Jeff Harvey: fired and rehired

In a settlement city officials did not release early or discuss afterward, a veteran Spokane police detective received a formal apology and a $350,000 payout this week to resolve the latest lawsuit over the police department’s firing practices.

Detective Jeff Harvey was terminated from the Spokane Police Department in July 2011 as he faced a misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge, combined with a scattered history of disciplinary issues. A jury eventually deadlocked on the charge, and Harvey was rehired 10 months later to his previous detective position and salary.

A tight-lipped City Council voted 5-1 in favor of the settlement Monday night, approving the money as well as an apology to Harvey and his family. Though details of the settlement, including the apology, were not released before the vote, Council President Ben Stuckart says a confidentiality agreement bars him from commenting on the decision.

“We were told not to talk,” he says.

Both parties instead issued a joint news release about the settlement, which was negotiated during mediation in August.

“[A]greed as a condition of settlement, the city states its regret for any harm that may have occurred to Detective Harvey’s reputation as a result of his termination from employment,” the release states, “as well as any negative effect that Detective Harvey’s family may have suffered as a result of Detective Harvey’s termination.”

The $350,000 settlement is 10 times more than the initial $35,000 offer officials made Harvey earlier this year. The settlement also removes his termination letter from his file and states no formal discipline was imposed.

Former Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick had ordered Harvey fired after a state Fish & Wildlife officer accused him of interfering with an interrogation during a hunting trip in February 2011. In his termination letter, Kirkpatrick also cited a 25-year history of attitude problems, borderline insubordination and other disciplinary issues.

Harvey contended he was wrongfully terminated as retaliation for his involvement with the Spokane Police Guild and his outspoken opinions on Kirkpatrick’s administration.

Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin cast the only vote against the settlement, arguing before the vote that the city should not have backed away from Kirkpatrick’s decision to fire Harvey.

“I just believe that we should have stood behind Chief Kirkpatrick and personally don’t believe that retaliation had anything to do with Harvey’s termination,” she says. “After all, that termination letter had been vetted ... and signed by more than just the chief. I’ll be voting no.”

Other council members said they were surprised by McLaughlin’s public comments, but she said she believed she could talk about her concerns as long as the settlement had not been finalized. Councilwoman Amber Waldref was not present.

Prior to the city’s approval on Monday, Harvey’s attorney, Bob Dunn, said he had expected the city to approve the settlement as it was outlined in mediation. He also declined to discuss the details of the decision due to the confidentiality agreement, but said the settlement should resolve all of Harvey’s legal issues with the city.

“That will be the end of it,” he said. 


  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Skunked
  • Skunked

    Why Spokane County Commissioners passed a temporary ban on new outdoor pot farms without telling anyone
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Prisoner Problems
  • Prisoner Problems

    Computer errors continue to plague state Department of Corrections; plus, Washington ranked first in pro-charter-school policies
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Winter Glow Spectacular

Winter Glow Spectacular @ Spokane County Fair & Expo Center

Through Dec. 11, Through Dec. 23 and Through Dec. 30

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Jacob Jones

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment


green zone




Readers also liked…

  • Promises and Payments
  • Promises and Payments

    A deal struck by the mayor and an influential hotelier may come undone after city council raises legal questions
    • May 13, 2015
  • Waiting For Their Place
  • Waiting For Their Place

    Rapid Re-Housing programs still mean months of homelessness for many local families
    • Jun 10, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation