City Attorney warns McGinn’s actions threaten ‘dire consequences’ in DOJ probe

Jul 17, 2012, 4:34 AM | Updated: 10:02 am
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes warns Mayor Mike McGinn's handling of a DOJ investigation into police violence and bias is leading to a costly lawsuit and other problems. (My Northwest file photo)

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has sent a stern
warning to Mayor Mike McGinn about the way McGinn’s office
is handling police reforms with the Department of Justice.

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

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

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,
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.

Local News

MyNorthwest Staff

Nearly 600 potholes reported to SDOT last week in wake of frigid weather

Frigid temperatures have had the Seattle Department of Transportation working to fill hundreds of potholes across the city in January. 
13 hours ago
asian giant hornets, british columbia...
Nicole Jennings

State makes discovery about Asian giant hornets eradicated in 2021

The Washington State Department of Agriculture made a promising discovery about the origin of the Asian giant hornets eradicated in 2021.
2 days ago
Skagit County testing site...
MyNorthwest Staff

Skagit County COVID test site to temporarily shut down over staff shortage

A COVID-19 testing site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds will be shutting down until early next week over ongoing staffing shortages. 
2 days ago
Mink, fur farming...
Nicole Jennings

Legislature considers bill to ban fur farms, production, sale in Washington

A bill in the state House of Representatives would outlaw the farming of foxes, minks, and other animals for fur in Washington.
3 days ago
Joe Kennedy, Bremerton football coach...
MyNorthwest Staff

Supreme Court to hear case of Bremerton coach in lawsuit over praying at games

The Supreme Court will hear the case of a Bremerton coach who made headlines for refusing the school's request to cease prayer on the sidelines.
3 days ago
Dry weather...
MyNorthwest Staff

With ‘quiet weekend ahead,’ Seattle area poised for longest dry streak in over 100 days

After weeks of record snow, rain, and everything in between, the Puget Sound region will finally get a break from extreme weather this weekend.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
City Attorney warns McGinn’s actions threaten ‘dire consequences’ in DOJ probe