Judge denies Spokane mayor recall effort

SPOKANE, Wash. — An effort to recall Spokane Mayor David Condon because of his firing of former police chief Frank Straub was thrown out Tuesday by a visiting judge from Yakima County.

Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson issued the ruling after Condon, a Republican, repeatedly said that the recall effort was a politically motivated effort by Democrats to oust him from power.

The recall petition was filed earlier this year by Spokane accountant David Green, who claimed Condon delayed the release of public records regarding Straub’s firing until after his re-election last November.

The petition also claimed Condon violated city policies in his handling of sexual harassment claims made by former police spokeswoman Monique Cotton against Straub.

Green said he does not plan to appeal the ruling.

Straub filed a lawsuit against the city in February seeking $4 million for alleged due process rights. It was dismissed by a by a federal judge in June, but Straub has appealed.

Condon was the first Spokane mayor to win a second term since David Rogers did so in 1978

The only Spokane mayor ever recalled was Jim West in 2005, over a sex scandal for which he was never charged. West died in 2006.

Spokane Democrats had asked Condon to step down after the chief was fired.

Cotton was transferred to a job in the city’s Parks Department. That prompted former parks spokeswoman Nancy Goodspeed to file a $1 million lawsuit claiming she was discriminated against and illegally replaced by Cotton.

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