by Guy Oron
(This article was originally published in Real Change and has been reprinted with permission.)
The office of Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell apparently wanted to limit media coverage of the June 8 Office of Police Accountability (OPA) public forum, according to emails obtained by Real Change. According to the documents, members of the Mayor’s Office explicitly mentioned that they did not want to send any media advisories or press releases relating to either the public forum or the OPA director hiring process in general.
Harrell announced on July 19 that he planned to appointed Gino Betts, one of the four finalists for the position who participated in the forum, to the position of OPA director.
In an email dated June 7 at 2:20 p.m., Harrell advisor Devon Abdallah — the Mayor’s point person on the OPA director candidate search — wrote, “We opted to not do a press release for the OPA forum or OPA director search in general.”
Continue reading Emails Appear to Show Mayor’s Office Intentionally Kept OPA Public Forum Quiet
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On Monday, the director of the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS), Calvin Goings, and the city’s finance director, Glen Lee, signed a letter to the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) asking the auditor to expand the scope of its ongoing audit of the contract between the city’s Legislative Department and the Freedom Project, which served as the “fiscal agent” for a $3 million project to study participatory budgeting and alternatives to policing.
However, PubliCola’s reporting indicates that the letter was written not by Goings and Lee but by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office — and that Goings and Lee were less than thrilled to sign their names to such a blatantly political series of requests and leading questions.
Continue reading Durkan Administration Asks State to Expand Scope of Audit Into City Council Contract
by Carolyn Bick
The Office of the Mayor and Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold have announced new legislation that is meant to clarify the Office of Police Accountability’s and the Office of Inspector General’s power to subpoena those involved in or who are witness to possible officer misconduct — including officers themselves.
The proposal clarifies legislation that was previously unclear due to language in both the City’s 2017 Accountability Ordinance and the 2018 Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) contract that appear to counter one another.
Continue reading Proposed Legislation Attempts to Clarify OPA’s, OIG’s Power to Subpoena in Police Misconduct Cases