SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Mayor David Condon and the lawyer for former Police Chief Frank Straub are speaking out about Straub's resignation.
Straub filed a lawsuit Thursday against the city asking for $4 million, two weeks after he resigned. Straub's attorney claims the tort claim was not filed because he was let go but because of the way it was handled. Initially the Mayor said Straub's resignation was a mutual decision but Straub's attorney claims otherwise.
The City of Spokane has 60 days to respond to the claim filed by Straub. Straub's attorney said the City failed to investigate complaints made about Straub's management style before releasing them to the public. Those complaints say Straub used scare tactics and launched personal attacks on officers, to name a few.
"They are untested they were not investigated, they are suspicious on their face the way they came in together and these letters were released out in the public as justification where if this was a resignation no justification was even necessary," said Straub's lawyer, Mary Schultz.
KREM 2 News went back to Mayor Condon on Friday and asked again if Straub's resignation was a mutual decision.
"Well we have a signed resignation letter, we had worked on a transition plan with the specific projects he was going to work on so there was really an agreement of what that transition would be," said Mayor Condon.
Through a public records request, KREM 2 News learned there was no internal affairs investigation was launched against Straub. City leaders have not produced any other complaints beyond the two letter released the day Straub's resignation was announced.
"This took him completely by surprise and to the best of my knowledge the city hasn't been able to come up with any prior complaints, they haven't produced any and here they have these two letters came in on a Friday afternoon," said Schultz. "That's not a due process right not the way that should be handled."
In a letter to the City, Schultz said Straub was only given 20 minutes to, "report to the Mayor for a 7:00 a.m. meeting of unannounced content." KREM 2 News asked Condon if they had this last minute meeting.
Condon said, "Well I think any of the claims we're going to be working through and be in the claims process and so we'll work those through as we work through the process."
KREM 2 News also asked Condon if Straub was given the choice to resign or get fired.
"Well we received the resignation letter really a few days later and after we had worked through these projects we're going to work on and as we work through this claim you'll see more and more of that," Condon responded.
Condon said that letter was drafted by the city and Straub signed it. KREM 2 News received a copy of the resignation letter written by Condon. Straub signed it but added a note that his signature does not waive the claims made by his attorney.
He said the city is evaluating the tort claim and said it was unfortunate because he had hoped to have a smooth transition and focus on the future of the police department.