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City attorney refuses to attend Seattle PD announcement alongside mayor

The Seattle Police Department was scheduled to announce Tuesday a new effort to apprehend habitual drunk drivers, but canceled a press conference at the last minute after City Attorney Peter Holmes refused to show up.

According to multiple sources who work for the city, Holmes told Seattle PD he would not attend the press conference if Mayor Mike McGinn would be there. Sources said Holmes felt McGinn was “inserting himself” in the announcement because it is an election year.

A spokesperson for Seattle PD notified the media at 12:32 p.m. that the 1:30 p.m. briefing would no longer take place.

“We apologize for the late notice,” Detective Jeff Kappel said in an email.

McGinn and Holmes have been at odds for some time and engaged in a public dispute earlier this year over how to deal with a man brought in by the federal government to oversee reforms within the police department.

When asked directly if Holmes refused to appear at the press conference alongside the mayor, a spokesperson for the City Attorney’s Office wrote in an email that “The mayor wasn’t part of (the press conference),” but would not answer the question directly.

The Seattle Police Department’s lead spokesperson, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, said that the press conference had “a lot of moving parts” that didn’t come together on time.

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