Otto Zehm, in Retrospect

Attorneys Jeffry Finer and Breean Beggs look back at the evidence and lessons of the Zehm case.

Otto button smWe’ve updated our Justice for Otto Zehm page recently, and included this detailed and thoughtful evaluation of the Otto Zehm case by attorneys Jeffry Finer and Breean Beggs. A must read for those who’ve followed the case and its effects on Spokane.

OTTO ZEHM v. CITY OF SPOKANE
UNITED STATES v. KARL THOMPSON

by Jeffry Finer and Breean Beggs

In mid-March, 2006, Officer Karl Thompson, of the Spokane Police Department overheard a radio dispatch for a “suspicious circumstances” call and possible theft of cash at an ATM. Officer Thompson was then 56 years of age, a highly regarded senior member of the Department who recently had been nominated by more than 20 colleagues as a candidate for Chief of Police. Trained in Los Angeles in the 80s, Officer Thompson was a father figure and example to many younger officers. Although he was on his dinner break, he decided to respond to the suspicious circumstances call ahead of the assigned officer.
The aftermath of that decision unraveled Spokane’s closely knit ties to its police, and ended political careers. (continue reading).