Mayoral candidate calls on state Attorney General to investigate Jenny Durkan’s missing texts

May 12, 2021, 12:18 PM | Updated: 12:19 pm
Colleen Echohawk, Seattle mayoral race, mayor fundraising, missing texts...
Colleen Echohawk. (Echohawk for Seattle)
(Echohawk for Seattle)

Mayoral candidate Colleen Echohawk issued a letter to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson this week, calling on him to open an investigation into the recent discovery of 10 months of missing text messages from current Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Seattle mayor’s office avoided answering requests for missing texts

This comes in the wake of a whistleblower complaint revealed last week, which had alleged Durkan’s office failed to properly handle a series of public records requests, after it discovered that the mayor’s text messages between August 2019 and June 2020 had gone missing. According to the city attorney’s office, that gap was caused by “a retention setting in her iPhone.”

Lawsuits against the city subsequently revealed that Durkan’s texts weren’t the only messages among local leaders from last June that had disappeared, with the list also including then-SPD Chief Carmen Best, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and multiple members of SPD’s command staff, according to a report from the Seattle Times.

Echohawk expressed suspicion regarding the timing of those missing texts, pointing out how that period coincided with several high-profile clashes between police and protesters, SPD abandoning the East Precinct, the subsequent creation of the CHOP, and thousands of complaints filed against SPD for its conduct during those protests.

ACLU files contempt motion against Seattle over SPD protest response

“Perhaps there genuinely was an ‘unknown technological issue’ that simultaneously affected the Mayor, the Police Chief and the Fire Chief, in which case the City should immediately undertake a significant security assessment of those communication systems,” her letter to the AG’s office reads. “Or, perhaps they conspired to destroy evidence and violate the law to cover up their actions and escape the unavoidable public scrutiny of incredibly divisive decisions.”

“No matter the cause, a credible neutral third party investigation will help restore the public trust that has been badly damaged by these revelations,” she added.

Echohawk — the Executive Director for the Chief Seattle Club — currently leads all Seattle mayoral candidates in total campaign contributions, having brought in over $350,000 across nearly 5,000 donors.

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Mayoral candidate calls on state Attorney General to investigate Jenny Durkan’s missing texts