Spokane’s mayor picks interim police chief

  • Wed Jan 4th, 2012 1:53pm
  • News

Associated Press

SPOKANE — Spokane’s new mayor has selected police Maj. Scott Stephens to serve as interim police chief.

Former Chief Anne Kirkpatrick’s last day on the job was last week. The Spokesman-Review reported that Stephens was the department’s highest-ranking officer after it also lost Assistant Chief Jim Nicks.

Mayor David Condon’s announcement Tuesday also included formation of a mayor’s panel on policing. He’s asking the panel to reform the troubled police department.

The mayor says a national search for permanent chief will continue.

Condon was sworn into office last Friday.

Former Officer Karl Thompson Jr. was convicted in November of using excessive force in the beating and death of a janitor, then lying about it to investigators. Federal prosecutors called the department’s handling of the case an “extensive cover-up.” The newspaper reported the U.S. Justice Department is considering whether to open a full investigation of the department’s practices.