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Ombudsman Office Empty, City Wants Replacement Quickly

Five months since Tim Burns resigned as Spokane’s police ombudsman, the position is still empty, and now the office assistant has put in her two weeks. Both positions could be filled soon, though, with city leaders now making it a priority.

This week the city council passed a resolution, unanimously, to speed up the ombudsman hiring process. Sponsor Jon Snyder says it asks the selection committee to narrow down three candidates for interim ombudsman ASAP.

Snyder: “…So that we can have that list. If one of them ends up being one of the permanent ombudsman candidates, that’s fine, but in any event we will have those folks available.” (:11)

He says they should have candidates on hand now and for possible openings in the future. The ombudsman selection committee is taking applications for the permanent hire until the end of this week.

The ombudsman assistant also resigned, just last week, and Mayor David Condon says the city is working fast to replace her so there is no gap of service in the office.

The office of police ombudsman takes citizen complaints about police behavior, among other things. In 2013 voters approved creation of an ombudsman office with independent investigative authority.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio

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