SPOKANE, Wash. -- The lawyer for a Spokane Police official on paid leave explained on Tuesday what led to his client’s demotion.
Lawyer Bob Dunn spoke to KREM 2 News and said that Lt. Scott Stephens was placed on paid leave for allegedly making a workplace threat. The threat allegedly happened when Stephens was demoted according to Dunn.
Lt. Stephens served as interim chief and assistant chief prior to being reassigned and given the rank of lieutenant. Police Chief Frank Straub demoted Stephens. He was later placed on administrative leave in December.
Dunn said the paid leave was based on a false claim. The claim alleged that Stephens was so upset over his demotion that he said he was going to get his weapon according to Dunn. He added that Stephens never made a threat. Dunn told KREM 2 News that his client has nothing to hide and will answer any questions during the investigation.
“You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone with anything bad to say about him,” said Dunn.
The lawyer claimed that Spokane Police Department leaders violated a Civil Service Commission rule when they demoted Stephens. Yet Mayor David Condon stated on Tuesday that no lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Stephens.
Dunn said that Stephens received interim chief pay until one month ago. He now receives pay in line with what a lieutenant makes according to Dunn. However, Mayor David Condon told reporters on Tuesday that Stephens is still in the assistant chief position.
City leaders hired a retired federal judge to conduct an internal investigation into the matter. Former Judge Michael Hogan will begin his investigation on Wednesday according to Mayor David Condon. Leaders said that they expect Hogan’s investigation to be complete by the end of the month.
Condon said Hogan will be paid hourly for two days of work.