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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shitstorm Delayed

posted by on June 16 at 14:47 PM

Today’s Times breaks the news that City Attorney Tom Carr’s office blocked the release of a report critical of the police department. The city attorney’s office said it did so because the report’s release could expose its authors, Peter Holmes and Bradley Moerick, to personal legal liability.

Holmes, an attorney, is head of the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), which oversees the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the city organization that conducts investigations into police misconduct allegations. Last year, the city passed rules last year that provided the same legal protection to volunteer board members as city employees.

In the Times’s story, Holmes calls the report “very critical” and “embarrassing,” and suggested that was the reason city officials didn’t want it released.

Earlier this week, Stranger writer Jonah Spangenthal-Lee reported that Holmes had turned in the report, which deals with the arrest of George Patterson, an African American man who accused two SPD officers of roughing him up and planting drugs on him. OPA was investigating Patterson’s misconduct allegations, but police chief Gil Kerlikowske interfered with the investigation, according to internal SPD communications, exonerating both officers before the investigation was complete.

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Holmes cannot face any legal liability for defamation in the report -- unless he improperly and falsely defamed someone. If he is telling truths, there is no liability.
So....why is he afraid and why is the City afraid to release the report? Are they afraid it does not tell the truth?

Posted by veritas | June 16, 2007 3:41 PM

release the report! it may cost the city a lot to defend but it's worth it. true or not they can be sued that's the way our system works.

Posted by whatever | June 16, 2007 3:51 PM

oh, yeah -- if the report is false and defamatory maybe they should just correct it and tell the truth. Rather than go around spending a few hundred thousand to defend a losing defamation suit.
""What a tangled web we weave...."

Posted by veritas | June 16, 2007 4:08 PM

i'd bet the farm there's nothing untrue in the report--just shit that the folks in power wish wasn't true.

Posted by dumbfucks | June 16, 2007 4:29 PM

Shitstorm delayed is shitstorm denied!

Demand accountability, 'n shit!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 16, 2007 4:39 PM

Has anybody else noticed how the inwardtruth guy keeps deleting Mr. Poe's comments?

He's stopped replying, at least at this point, but from what I've seen almost half of his comments were entirely appropriate and intelligent. The host seems to continue deleting them and sustains rapid response to all others (other than Mr. Poe).

I find this irritating since this is the first time I've seen an actual serious and intelligent side of Mr. Poe. The only time I have this opportunity, it keeps being deleted. It's kinda funny how they deal with replying to actual mature debate. They don't.

Posted by J | June 16, 2007 5:02 PM

Swearing is fucking wrong! (Isn't that a commandment or something?)

Posted by bitch on heels | June 16, 2007 6:40 PM

I'm so glad we still live in a country with democracy, accountability, and open gov't!

Actually it's sad that our slide into fascism isn't restricted to the national level :(

It's pretty pathetic that one of the most liberal cities in America is reduced to this :(

This looks especially bad in conjunction with the State of the City adress being given to a softball audience instead of tlhe City Council and the public.

Not to mention this is just the latest in a LONG series of efforts to keep OUR police unaccountable.

I thank the Stranger (ECB) for reporting on such things.

Posted by K X One | June 17, 2007 5:28 AM


There should have been an 'and' inside those parentheses!

Posted by K X One | June 17, 2007 5:30 AM

The only thing liberal or progressive about the city of Seattle are the citizens. You can't expect the government they elect to be. This is the U.S.A.

Posted by Merkin | June 17, 2007 9:19 AM

"I find this irritating since this is the first time I've seen an actual serious and intelligent side of Mr. Poe.

Psh, fuck you.

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