Spokane city attorney fired, replacement announced

Spokane Mayor David Condon fired City Attorney Howard Delaney this morning, according to a city spokeswoman.

"The mayor was looking for a change in leadership, so he had a conversation with Howard this morning," spokeswoman Marlene Feist says. She added that there was no particular impetus for Delaney's firing, other than that "the mayor wanted to go a different direction in the legal department."

Delaney, who was first appointed in 2008, will be replaced by Nancy Isserlis, a principal at local firm Winston & Cashatt Lawyers.

Feist says Delaney "chose termination," allowing him to apply for unemployment benefits. 

The city attorney's office has come under fire recently after Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson was convicted last year for lying to investigators and using excessive force during a fatal 2006 encounter with Otto Zehm.

Federal investigators have contended that the city attorney's office covered up alleged police misconduct in the wake of Zehm's death.

While campaigning for mayor last year, Condon vowed to fire Assistant City Attorney Rocky Treppiedi, who advocates for police officers involved in the Zehm case and who has been accused of leading the cover-up.

However, Feist says Treppiedi is still employed by the city, and it will be up to Isserlis to decide whether or not to terminate him.

Neither Delaney nor Isserlis responded immediately to requests for comment.