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Friday, December 30, 2005

Props to the PI’s Investigative Team

Posted by on December 30 at 15:36 PM

The PI’s current series about “misconduct and breakdowns in [internal] discipline and accountability” at the King County Sheriff’s Office (a follow-up to their excellent Dan Ring expose last August), is a fat piece of investigative journalism, and it’s causing a stir at the County.

I was talking to some county officials last night who were just shaking their heads. And, in a first, the Sheriff’s office called me today—I always call them—pitching me a story about Sheriff Rahr’s vision for 2006.

Anyway, props to PI reporters Eric Nalder, Lewis Kamb, Phuong Cat Le and Paul Shukovsky for exposing this questionable business at the sheriff’s dept.—a stark contrast to the Seattle Times’s endless recycling of that “story” about SPD corruption in local night clubs and/or strip clubs and/or something.

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Any chance this could cause problems for Reichert? (he's just two years removed from this stuff)

That takes too much explaining for political sound biting. The spotlight's on Rahr.

Josh, I don't agree at all with your assessment of the Times work on SPD that Miletich's been doing.

The stories aren't recycled, there have been new developments with each of them. Also, the stories do not only reveal nightclub related violations - gratuities and the like.

One officer, Powers, was finally fired after being accused of and investigated for 1) having sex in the West Precinct locker room, 2)sitting in a patrol car under the viaduct doing blow, 3) running car plates for non-cops, 4) giving out prescription drugs to other officers, and 5)participating in a robbery.

Also, Miletich wrote a couple of unrelated stories over the last couple weeks about another cop who fired her gun (w/o reporting it) in an altercation with a homeless person.

Mind you, as you know, names of officers under investigation are confidential. So where do you think this story came from? Any cops leaking these kinds of stories to your reporters?

You can compliment the work of one paper without unfairly trashing the other. Be nice and if you're not gonna be nice, at least be accurate! The SPD stories are huge and they are going to continue to have implications - the most recent of significance, the question of why the Chief did not fire Powers, despite knowing of his hard drug use for 3 years. The Chief is saying that the FBI investigation was the reason. This is the next place this story is going. The FBI says that this was not THEIR expectation.

That is pretty impressive LH. I stand corrected.
I guess I'm just a little bitter because the FBI investigation was first leaked to me, and I wrote the first story on this in July 2004... (I was able to eavesdrop—my new favorite word—on one source while they were getting interviewed by the FBI. So, yeah, sources are leaking this stuff to us. ...(Another bitter note: we don't have enough reporters to throw reporters on this type of huge investigative story without sacrificing our ongoing city coverage.)
And I guess, while you're right, the Times has dug up some hot stuff, none of it seems as revelatory as the PI stuff on the Sheriff's Office. But I'll go back and read the Times stuff now. It just never drew me in much because it did strike me as kind of old news. My apologies.

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