Condon, City Council agree to extend SPD chief selection process

SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane won't have a new police chief after Monday night's city council meeting after all, as the council requested Mayor David Condon re-open the police chief selection process.

In a letter dated Monday and signed by council members Breean Beggs and Lori Kinnear, the council asks that Condon re-open the selection process and put Craig Meidl, Condon's choice for chief, through the same selection process that vetted other candidates for the position.

"The perception that the announced process was short-circuited to the detriment of the much needed community support for a new chief is overwhelming based on emails to Council, public forum comments and sentiments documented by all media outlets," the council letter stated.

Condon, according to an e-mail news release late Monday afternoon, will work to continue the vetting process by putting Meidl through the same process as the rest of the candidates, with Meidl submitting answers to written and video questions.

The selection committee will then come up with a list of "up to four finalists" for the position.

"We believe that the additional time to promptly complete the background checks and public interviews will not unduly delay the forward progress of the department. The delay is unfortunate but is a small price to pay for delivering a selection process that meets the terms that were originally promised to the public and gives the successful final candidate a much stronger platform from which to begin what will hopefully be a long term of successful service to our community," the council letter concluded.

The city council, which had planned to consider confirming Meidl as police chief Monday evening will now instead consider a motion to postpone confirmation as the selection process will continue.