Tuesday, March 13, 2012

City Hall Eyeball: Former mayor blasts Condon over fired cop

Posted on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

The City Council's mad. The mayor's mad. And now even the former mayor is mad about a state commission's order to give a fired Spokane police officer his job back with back pay.

Brad Thoma, you might remember, drove drunk, crashed into a car, then fled the scene, leading to his dismissal from the force in 2010. But the Human Rights Commission last month told the city to give him his job back, along with about $275,000 in back pay, or else.

Spokane Mayor David Condon was willing to accept the deal, but an infuriated City Council opted to see what "or else" would be. And so Thoma's attorney filed a $4 million lawsuit against the city.

But former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner has a different take on things, blaming Condon for the whole affair in a post on her Facebook.

"The about-face of the Condon administration — not only offering a generous payout of taxpayers’ cash, but also putting Thoma back on the police force — is as puzzling to me as to most other Spokane citizens," Verner wrote of her former opponent's actions.

And she also accused Condon of using former City Attorney Howard Delaney, whose firing was announced at the beginning of this month, as a sacrificial lamb.

"When Condon felt the heat, he responded by dismissing Attorney Delaney, rather than standing by his decision or admitting that he made a mistake."

Her solution? Fight on the beaches. Fight on the landing ground. Fight in the courtroom.

"This mayor’s decisions smack of political ambition and scapegoating, without the grit needed to stand strong for police accountability achieved case-by-case over the long haul," Verner wrote.

For more long and contemplative stares from the City Hall Eyeball, look here

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