City confirms Straub, Mahoney top cop finalists

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor David Condon confirmed Wednesday morning that he has narrowed his search for the next chief of police to Daniel Mahoney of San Francisco and Frank Straub of Indianapolis.

The City of Spokane announced in a news release Wednesday that Mahoney, the commander of the Ingleside Police Station of the San Francisco Police Department, and Frank Straub, director of public safety for Indianapolis, were the finalists.

KXLY sources confirmed Tuesday that Mahoney and Straub were the finalists under consideration for the position and that George Markert of Rochester, New York had not make the final cut.

Mayor Condon, City Administrator Theresa Sanders and City Attorney Nancy Isslerlis will visit San Francisco and Indianapolis to talk to the candidates and complete background checks. Condon still plans to announce his selection this month.

During Condon's news conference about the 2013 city budget Wednesday afternoon, he justified the trips to San Francisco and Indianapolis as a form of risk management. If he doesn't fully research the two finalists in their hometowns he might end up hiring someone who could potentially cost the city money in future litigation or poorly negotiated labor contracts.

Final 2 police chief finalists

"I owe it to our citizens to find out what their citizens think, their stakeholders and who they worked with. Of course I've made phone calls to some of those stakeholders but you also need to learn from being on the ground," he said.

In that respect the mayor is mindful of three costly law suits filed against the city after former chief Anne Kirkpatrick took disciplinary action against three of her officers, Jay Mehring, Brad Thoma and Jeff Harvey.

The law enforcement advisory panel, which was comprised of current and former law enforcement leaders from across the region, didn't believe any of the three candidates were right for the job and suggested Condon continue the search.

Condon said during his news conference that he wasn't very concerned that the law enforcement panel that interviewed the three candidates found that none of them were qualified, even though that group had the most expertise as it was comprised of some of the top former and current local, regional and federal law enforcement officers in the area.

The mayor countered that panels other than the law enforcement group gave Straub and Mahoney very high marks. Condon said the next chief of police should be the choice of the people he will serve and that the public has the loudest voice in this important decision.

Some of the panels made specific recommendations to the mayor. One group wrote if city hall seeks reform he should offer the job to Straub. If the mayor thinks healing the community is important then he should hire Mahoney.

Asked about the finalists for the chief position, Condon said Wednesday he was very confident that either Frank Straub or Daniel Mahoney will be Spokane's next police chief.