Spokane Mayor David Condon will ask the city council Monday to confirm Frank Straub as the Director of Law Enforcement and not Spokane Police Chief because Straub is facing delays becoming a commissioned officer in Washington state.
The reason Straub can't be named chief of police is that he will have to enroll as a student at the state police academy before he can get a commission that would make him eligible to become police chief.
These latest developments are contrary to Condon's repeated statements that Straub would be sworn in as the new police chief. City spokesperson Marlene Feist clarified last Thursday that the Director of Law Enforcement title is strictly temporary until Straub receives his commission.
Mayor Condon had hoped that because Straub previously held a commission in New York City that the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission would allow Straub to take the 9-week long online equivalency course.
Without a current commission Straub cannot carry a badge or duty weapon or even enforce the laws of Washington and becoming a commissioned officer was one of the original job requirements Condon declared for the successful candidate in his search for a new chief.
The city council will consider a resolution at next Monday's council meeting that would appoint Frank Straub as Director of Law Enforcement. Despite Feist's clarification, neither the council agenda nor the resolution, as of Thursday morning, carried the clarification that the title is a placeholder until Straub meets the qualifications to be chief of police.
In fact, the agenda sheet for the announcement of the resolution reads, "Mr. Straub's selection follows a comprehensive recruitment and selection process for the position of Director of Law Enforcement."
"He was hired to be the police chief," Condon said at the August 22 news conference where he named Straub chief. "He was hired to be a police chief. He's going to be the police chief."
However, four hours after this story was originally published, Marlene Feist sent KXLY 4 News an "Updated Straub Resolution" which added the following language to the resolution:
WHEREAS, the Director of Law Enforcement will assume all of the rights and responsibilities of the City’s Chief of Police and will become the City’s Chief of Police upon final resolution of State certification requirements
Straub is heading to Burien next Wednesday to ask the training commission for a waiver that would allow him to take the equivalency exam instead of attending the five month academy.