Police ombudsman contract not renewed

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane police ombudsman will soon be out of a job as Mayor David Condon decided to not renew his contract with the city in August.

According the city officials, Mayor David Condon decided not to renew ombudsman Tim Burns' 3-year contract due to changes in the police department. Condon is currently trying to decide who will be the city's next police chief.

Burns said he is accepting the mayor's decision however, the mayor hasn't spoken directly to him. He said he learned of his fate through the city administrator.

Police ombudsman contract not renewed

Burns said he's been with the city through tough times including the Otto Zehm trial. He said he thinks it's more important now than ever to have an ombudsman since a new police chief is coming in.

"I think this community needs some stability in the office of the mayor as well as in the office of the police ombudsman to make some good in roads and progress in this area. So I'm very concerned about that," said Burns.

The mayor is currently awaiting the city's use of force commission report which will include recommendations for a police oversight model.

Meanwhile the Spokane City Council is reacting to the mayor's decision. Council President Ben Stuckart issued a press release Friday expressing concerns over letting Burns go. 

"None of the council (members) were consulted about Tim being let go before hand. I don't think that's how our city government should work. I think the mayor and I both ran on, you know, strong citizen oversight of our police and police reform. I think this is a step backwards," said Stuckart.

Stuckart issued a resolution Friday that the council will vote on Monday. If it gets five votes, the resolution would pass to ask the mayor to reconsider his decision on letting the police ombudsman's contract runs out.