Greenwood-Phinney

City Attorney Holmes: 'This is a sad day for Seattle'

City Attorney Holmes: 'This is a sad day for Seattle'
SEATTLE -- Pressure is building between two powerful city leaders and the man tasked with overseeing changes to the police department.

It all stems from attorney Merrick Bobb's plan for Seattle police officers, which was released on Tuesday.

Bobb was appointed by the federal government to make sure SPD implements a slew of reforms put forth after a Department of Justice investigation found officers using excessive force.

In Bobb's report, which was filed on Tuesday, he details plans to change the way the department defines, reports, investigates and reviews use-of-force claims against officers.

What's yet to be determined is whether any city leaders will agree with Bobb's plan. Bobb, Mayor Mike McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes have been bickering back and forth about the changes for some time.

On Tuesday, McGinn fired off a letter to Holmes accusing him of overstepping his bounds and dragging his feet on implementing changes to the department. He accuses Holmes of stalling so he can look at Bobb's plan before making any decisions.

"The fundamental question is he an independent policy maker with final authority over decisions, or is he the city's attorney bound by rules of professional conduct? He can chose either path." McGinn said.

If all three sides can't agree on Bobb's plan, the changes outlined in the original settlement agreement between the city and the Department of Justice will automatically kick in.

McGinn said he would rather the city work without the monitor. He already has two police changes that are ready to go, but he claims Holmes is not on board.

Holmes released his own brief response to McGinn's letter, saying, "I cannot comment in detail on the mayor's counterproductive statements, except to say that this is a sad day for Seattle."

On top of everything else, there's drama between McGinn and Bobb after the city's budget office caught Bobb trying to turn in reimbursement receipts for expensive dinners and alcohol.

McGinn has said he's worried implementing Bobb's plan would mean his team would spend more city money for months to come.

Everything will come to a head next Tuesday, when a federal judge will rule on Bobb's proposal.