City Reaches Deal With Former Chief Stephens

By Paige Browning

The mayor of Spokane announced Friday a settlement between the city and a police officer. The city will pay Scott Stephens $190,000, equivalent to one year’s pay plus benefits as an assistant chief.
 
When Stephens was demoted in December, the police chief received a report that Stephens made threatening statements due to his downgrading.  The city gave no direct explanation of this at the time, but placed Stephens on administrative leave.

Mayor Condon hired an outside investigator in the case.  Condon was tightlipped aside from a few remarks when he announced the settlement.
 
Condon: “I think this was in the end a fair settlement, taking into account all the pieces of information provided to me both through the process, through Chief Straub, and then obviously verifying these things by being in an independent investigator.  In this case, Judge Hogan.” (:20)
 
In Judge Hogan’s report, released Friday, he says the police chief – quote- reacted appropriately given the nature of the perceived threat- end quote.
 
Stephens was interim chief for nine months, then was moved to the assistant chief role, and in December demoted to Captain. Judge Hogan’s report says Stephens spoke with a friend at the city, expressing his disappointment, and hours later the collegeaue reported what she perceived to be threats by Stephens.  Hogan says a Captain spoke to Stephens via phone and reported back that he seemed to be fine.  By the Chief’s request Stephens sought counseling, and in a test to determine if he was fit for duty he received clearance.
 
The Spokane City Council still has to approve the settlement.

Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio 
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