Mary Verner's facts questioned by Department of Justice

In a brief filed Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice took aim at some "Frequently Asked Questions" that Spokane Mayor Mary Verner handed out to reporters in lieu of questions at a recent "news briefing" about the Otto Zehm case, according to the Center for Justice.

"Mayor Verner released a document purportedly containing accurate statements about the criminal and civil cases in the form of answers to Frequently Asked Questions," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Durkin in the brief. "However, several of the publicly disseminated “FAQ” statements are patently false and inaccurate, including representations by city attorneys that they ‘met with’ DOJ officials after receiving a June 15, 2009, e-mail outlining DOJ concerns, inter alia, with conflicts of interest within the city attorney’s offices and interferences with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation."

Verner had already taken flak for the FAQ sheet, from sources as divergent as the Center for Justice, the Spokesman-Review and KREM. The Inlander wrote about the briefing as well ("Not a Press Conference," 9/14/11). Verner, who is running for re-election, also received criticism from her challenger, David Condon.