Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who is backing Ed Murray's run for mayor, reportedly refused to show up at a press conference about cracking down on drunk driving today because he didn't want to stand near Mayor Mike McGinn. Brandi Kruse at KIRO reports:
The Seattle Police Department was scheduled to announce Tuesday a new effort to apprehend habitual drunk drivers, but canceled a press conference at the last minute after City Attorney Peter Holmes refused to show up.
According to multiple sources who work for the city, Holmes told Seattle PD he would not attend the press conference if Mayor Mike McGinn would be there. Sources said Holmes felt McGinn was "inserting himself" in the announcement because it is an election year.
Spokespeople on both sides aren't being forthcoming about what went down, exactly. "Sean and I canceled it because we weren't ready," Kimberly Mills at the city attorney's office said about SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb (she didn't respond to an e-mail asking if she denied Kruse's story). For his part, Whitcomb would only say, "It had too many moving parts, and how you interpret that is up to you."
Since those explanations offer approximately zero insight, we're left with Kruse's reporting—which is a plausible story. Holmes virulently hates the mayor and rarely misses an opportunity to claim that McGinn is divisive and impossible to work with (also Murray's primary campaign theme). Meanwhile, Holmes has been regarded as a guiding light for the city's effort to reform the police department. But as Connie Rice, a renowned consultant who helped fix police forces in LA and New York, has pointed out, fixing the police in Seattle will depend on city leaders getting over their poisonous, divisive schoolyard politics. "It will require people who used to fight each other to get into boat and row together—the warring should be over," Rice told me in an interview last summer. "The fighting should be over."
But if Kruse's reporting is right, Holmes is the obstacle here; Holmes is apparently the one being divisive and impossible to work with.