City Attorney warns McGinn's actions threaten 'dire consequences' in DOJ probeon July 17, 2012 @ 4:34 am (Updated: 10:02 am - 7/17/12 )
Holmes says the strategy of trying to negotiate has put the city "on the verge of a civil-rights lawsuit that could have dire consequences," according to The Seattle Times.
In the letter sent Friday and obtained by the Times, Holmes admonishes the mayor's office for relying "too heavily" on the police department to craft an official response to the DOJ report finding a pattern of unnecessary force and racially biased policing by Seattle police.
The confidential letter warns the city has put too much attention on trying to paint the SPD as a victim and the DOJ as "a 'bully' seeking to impose a 'shadow chief' at an unverified, speculative cost."
Holmes said he does not see a need to replace Police Chief John Diaz as part of a settlement, saying he might be "precisely the individual" to carry out reforms.
The letter also criticizes the SPD's "20/20" reform plan touted by the mayor as an alternative to the sweeping changes proposed by the DOJ, saying it "lacks both substance and accountability, even in its implementation."
In a written statement, McGinn's spokesman Aaron Pickus declined to comment specifically on the letter.
"We are negotiating in good faith to achieve the goals of lasting reforms and effective policing, with an awareness of our budget constraints. These negotiations are ongoing."
Holmes declined to comment. In the letter, he warned the city is at "critical juncture" in talks with the DOJ and if mediation fails, the city "will face costly, burdensome, and risky litigation with the federal government."
Holmes reportedly sent the letter after the mayor's office rejected his suggestion to bring several city council members back into the negotiations.
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