City leaders may hire private lawyer in Otto Zehm case

City leaders may hire private lawyer in Otto Zehm case

City leaders may hire private lawyer in Otto Zehm case

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on August 22, 2011 at 4:08 PM

SPOKANE -- City leaders vote Monday night on whether a private law firm will represent the Spokane Assistant Police Chief in a civil lawsuit from the family of Otto Zehm.

Zehm died in 2006, days after he was tied up and beaten by police who mistakenly thought he was a robbery suspect.
 
Officer Karl Thompson faces criminal charges in the case.
 
Spokane City lawyers will represent the city and nine employees in a civil lawsuit.

City Council members want taxpayer money to pay for a private attorney for Assistant Police Chief Jim Nicks.
 
The City Council cites a conflict of interest for why city lawyers can't represent Nicks. He claimed to find inconsistencies between Thompson's recorded statements and the surveillance video which captured the beating.
 
An internal investigation cleared Thompson.
 
The measure would allow the city to spend $75,000 in taxpayer money on Nick's lawyer.

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