Spokane Co. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich responds to allegations involving Rep. Matt Shea

Spokane Co. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich responds to allegations involving Rep. Matt Shea

Spokane County’s sheriff is weighing in on a controversial discussion involving Spokane Valley Representative Matt Shea. Shea is accused of taking part in online talks that included proposed violence against liberals in our area.

The details are unfolding in an investigation published by Britain’s The Guardian newspaper this weekend.

Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told KXLY on Monday, his thoughts on the allegations:

“The allegations concerning Rep. Shea are troubling; however, they are not surprising. Shea has used these types of tactics against anyone he deems to be a political enemy for years and is currently being sued by a Spokane County Deputy Sheriff for the use of similar tactics.

To me, it is unconscionable that a State Representative would be involved in such discussions targeting those he has been elected to represent and protect. It appears that Shea has no use or respect for the Constitutions of the United States, the State of Washington nor the principles upon which our nation was founded.”

KXLY4 asked the sheriff if he had any solutions for the current political controversy, he said:

“For years, I have stated that the Republican Party needs to sanction Rep. Shea and remove him from all leadership positions. His actions and values do not conform with the actions or values of the Republican Party, nor of the people he was elected to represent. Ultimately the question is: When will the citizens of the 4th Legislative district tire of the embarrassment Matt Shea brings to our region? It is time Matt Shea is held accountable for his hateful and dangerous speech and actions.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee also had some strong words for Rep. Shea on Monday afternoon and said:

“There is no place for hate in Washington state, especially in Washington’s Legislature. Rep. Matt Shea’s history of hate has now crossed a new line. He participated in conversations that advocated for violence against those with dissenting opinions. He is actively conspiring with others to surveil and target political activists.

“Rep. Shea embodies a strain of extreme ideology that, throughout the decades and into the present, has caused deep harm to people and families. I strongly condemn both his rhetoric and his behavior.”

According to The Guardian’s report, messages dating back to 2017 show that Representative Shea was talking privately with right-wing figures through a group messaging app.

In those conversations, Shea took part in discussions about violence against people they called ‘communists.’ Shea even said he could get background checks on those people.

All these details were revealed in The Guardian’s investigative report last weekend, leading other political leaders to call for action in the political party.

Cyrus Habib, Washington Lieutenant Governor, took to Twitter on Saturday and said:

“I call on House Republicans to do the right thing and eject Matt Shea from their caucus. Obtaining background checks on people for the purpose of planning violence against them is a crime, and even offering to do so is clearly 100% unacceptable in the Legislature.”

Tina Podlowski, chair for the Washington State Democrats said in a statement:

“It is past time to do something about Matt Shea.”

“”Republican Representative Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) crossed the decency line for most Washingtonians years ago.”

KXLY4 also reached out to the Republican Party of Spokane, State Senator Mike Padden of Spokane Valley and Representative Matt Shea, himself, and our calls were not returned.

If you want to read the full investigative report from The Guardian HERE.

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