Washington State Government and Media Corruption | Cowles Co., The Spokesman Review

January 30, 2010 | Spokane | Written by: Retired Detective Ron Wright

Officials hail city’s improved bond rating

As you all know I’m working on an investigative assignment for former Sheriff Tony Bamonte to determine the hard costs that the taxpayers of Spokane were forced to pay or are obligated to pay because of the RPS Bond Fraud debacle.  The arrogance of Mayor Verner and her dripping praise of the City’s CFO Gavin Cooley causes my stomach to turn.  I’ve sent some of you, my email communications/PDRs with the City to ferret out this information.  My gosh this is public info and they’re treating it as if it were proprietary or top secret information.  Gee don’t provide the victims the information so they can understand how they were conned!Ceriani was the attorney who brought the successful civil fraud case on behalf of the first institutional RPS bond investors against the City et al. The damning evidence in Ceriani’s civil depos would be exposed in any such trial. The criminal complicity of those involved would be laid bare for all to see.  Siddoway by her actions was not representing the interests of the Citizen of Spokane but protecting Spokane officials from criminal prosecution.  Who was she supposed to be representing? Where was the City Attorney’s Office?  Just whose interests was the City Attorney’s Office representing?  There are many similarities to the manslaughter death of Jo Savage in the RPS Parking Garage that has been so far covered up by Spokane’s power elite.  It could have been any one of us or our loved ones who could have fallen to a horrible death from the parking garage.  Is the RPS garage safe for continued public occupancy?  So far we don’t know as the City will not ask the probative questions to ensure it is safe..  The City so far has ignored the demands of Sheriff Bamonte and me..

Gavin Cooley appears to be a plant by Mayor John Powers just like Siddoway was.  The Cowleses ran a secret campaign in support of Powers to oust the then Mayor John Talbott.  Once Talbott was defeated, Cooley was brought in as was Siddoway by Powers.   Attorney O. Yale Lewis who Talbott brought in and quickly uncovered the very damning evidence of the RPS fraud was lied to, to secure his approval to remove the “conspiracy” clause from his second amended complaint by Powers and Siddoway.  This was Siddoway’s first attempt to sabotage this fraud case against the Cowleses et al.  Siddoway yet again gutted this fraud case by lying to the City Council that Gary Ceriani was in support of the RPS settlement agreement.

Again my stomach is still churning.  Am I along with a few others the only ones that can smell the stench?
The citizens of Spokane and the family of Jo Savage,  whose death in the RPS Parking Garage was the direct result of actions of the principals in this fraud, have a fundamental right to ensure that justice is served when their political/ governmental law enforcement bodies and decision makers can’t or won’t act because of their systemic co-option/ corruption to protect them from criminal victimization and from imminent public hazards.  In our legal system the law is of, for and by the People – NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

What galls me is the total arrogance of the suspects and those who aided and abetted in these crimes. Dick Adam’s comment regarding this latest report by the S-R which is another classic case of under reporting of the facts prompted these thoughts of mine.

Tim Connor of the Center for Justice just provided me with the RPS settlement agreement that was brokered by Cooley and Attorney Laurel Siddoway.  This agreement goes beyond the pale and is clear evidence that this was not merely just a con or fraud but a criminal extortion by the complicit players of a criminal enterprise as defined in RICO to conceal their crimes from public exposure.  It is clear to me that Spokane’s elected and appointed officials who in approving this RPS settlement agreement acted against the interests of the Citizens of Spokane to avoid exposure for their criminal acts.  This is organized crime.

Mayor Verner was correct when she said she felt she had a gun to her head and had to vote for this settlement agreement.  Laurel Siddoway is clearly a principal in carrying out this new fraud, the RPS settlement, that in essence was a criminal extortion.  Siddoway knew that Gary Ceriani was adamant that this fraud case needed to go to trial against Betsy Cowles et al but did not advise the Council of his strong objection.  Why?

Fortunately with the advent of the new/alternative/social media the MOBIUS Project that had all the earmarks of RPS II was in part shut down by the courageous reporting of Tim Connor that brought sunlight to the usual backroom deals of Spokane’s power elite. Tim Connor also took issue with the Inlander’s rather rosy review of the last decade in Spokane by its glossing over the RPS fraud.

Det. Ron Wright (Retired)


On Sat, Jan 30, 2010 at 7:56 AM, Dick Adams <memoda@msn.com> wrote:

Reading Mr. Brunt`s story today, regarding S&P credit rating reminded me of a letter I sent to former mayor Dennis Hession. I complained to him, he (Hession) should have stopped Gavin Cooley from the out right untruth he told to a city council at a regularly scheduled meeting with his drivel stating that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania “was bankrupt”. In Brunt`s story, he quoted Mayor Verner as saying, “Its something for this entire community to be proud of” and continuing on, “While other cities are on the verge of bankruptcy” blah, blah.

So were talking apples to apples, would Verner  explain to me, and you, which cities the size of Spokane are on the verge of bankruptcy?

I think finance guru Gavin Cooley should explain the savings of $90,000. “every year too”. Granted in this economy, refinancing with the multi millions of dollars of Spokane debt, there is some savings. But for gosh sakes, spell it out.

One thing city officials forgot to mention, or should I say, conveniently omitted, is in 2005, how the taxpayers got ripped off regarding an agreement paying off the developers of the River Park Square heist. Cooley, was one of the architects putting together that plan costing the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for the next 30 years. AND OF COARSE, the pay off helped to up the city credit rating, at the expense of the citizens in the city of Spokane.  AND LETS NOT FORGET WHAT VERNER SAID AFTER CONDONING THE RIP OFF AGREEMENT, SAYING, “IT MADE ME SICK TO MY STOMACH”

When are some of you council members going to ask the tough questions. IMHO, the story today was a fluff piece.

Dick Adams
, U.S. citizen, Spokane, WA.


November 22, 2009 | Spokane | The Spokesman-Review | Cowles Publishing Company

—–Original Message—–
From: “Tony Bamonte” <bamonte@nase.org>
Sent 11/11/2009 5:12:23 PM
To: editor@spokesman.com
Subject: letter to editor Tony Bamonte


Letter to editor:

Scandal disgraced the Washington State Patrol when 8 troopers submitted phony diplomas along with applications for pay increases. Earning a two-year degree entitles a trooper to a 2% pay raise and a bachelor’s degree, a 4% pay raise.

With intent to defraud taxpayers and illegally add thousands of dollars to their incomes and retirements, these troopers falsely completed written applications, offering them to the state as legitimate representations of their education levels. Under the fraud statute of the Washington State Criminal Code, each of these troopers committed a Class C felony. By law, they could be sentenced to imprisonment for up to five years. Instead, they were all given three- to ten-day suspensions.

Eight experienced troopers, all proven to be capable of passing the test requirements to be hired by the state patrol, could not possibly believe what they were doing was legal. These men have brought great disgrace to law enforcement. They have tarnished the reputation of the state patrol, but even more repugnant is the fact the commander-in-chief of the Washington State Patrol, Governor Christine Gregoire, and the attorney general of Washington State, Rob McKenna, have both dishonorably sanctioned this conduct by not taking appropriate disciplinary action.

Anthony G. Bamonte
1308 E. 29th Avenue
Spokane, WA 99203
(509) 838-7114

Follow-up from: Retired Sheriff Tony Bamonte

To: Doug Floyd, Editorial Page Editor | The Spokesman-Review, West 999 Riverside Avenue, Spokane WA. 99201

Dear Mr. Floyd:

On November 13, following a letter to the editor I wrote and e-mailed to your office on November 11, 2009, I called your office and left a message on your answering service requesting why it was being ignored. That evening you called back and advised me my letter was libelous and you weren’t going to print it (We both know that wasn’t a true statement as my letter concerns public officials). Following a short conversation, you agreed to let me water down my letter and resubmit it, which I did. Eight days have passed since my first letter and it is apparent you have no intentions of printing it.

The crux of my letter to the editor and message to the public was the fact that the buck stops at the top. The governor and attorney general allowed eight state patrol officers to commit felony crimes and disgrace the state patrol. Why try to hide the fact from the public that the governor is the commander-in-chief of the Washington State Patrol and that both she and the attorney general were responsible for allowing their employees to commit felony crimes and not be charged or prosecuted?

I am enclosing copies of five letters. One of these is to Governor Chris Gregoire, two are to Attorney General Rob McKenna and two are to Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker. These letters are self-explanatory. Basically, the Governor and Washington State Attorney General did a big favor for your employers and now your employers are ingratiated. This favor to them is in the same spirit as has been extended to all of our law enforcement leaders that have also protected your employers. At this point in time, the integrity of our police department is at an all time low, yet Chief Kirpatrick is being hailed in the pages of your newspaper as the best police chief in the history of the department (Doug Clark article). Chief Kirkpatrick has also rendered criminal assistance to the Cowles family.

Mr. Floyd, with the correspondence I have attached with this letter you now personally have knowledge of both the governor’s and Washington State attorney generals involvement in rendering criminal assistance to the Cowles family.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like further information.


Tony Bamonte

Enclosures: E-64, E-72a, E-83, E-86, E-87 Click Here to read actual letters written to elected government officials.

Follow-up to the chief Editor of the Spokesman Review

To: Gary Crooks

Hi Gary:

I’m resubmitting my letter to the editor per Doug Floyd. I spoke to him this evening and he stated my first letter was libelous. I’m aware there have been other letters concerning this, but I don’t recall any that have addressed the criminal aspect and where the buck should have stopped. I also don’t recall any letters to the editor that have been written by former law enforcement officers. This is exceptionally disturbing and a slap in the face to the many honest law enforcement officers in our community.


Last year when it was learned eight Washington State Patrol troopers falsely completed written applications and submitted phony diplomas to the state as legitimate representations of their education levels, their intent was to receive substantial pay benefits which would have illegally added thousands of dollars to their incomes and retirements.

Following a federal investigation, the folks that sold these troopers their degrees were sentenced to three years in prison, yet the troopers that purchased these fake degrees were all given three- to ten-day paid suspensions. This is a great slap in the face to every law-abiding citizen.

Based on these trooper’s actions under both the theft and fraud statutes of the Washington State Criminal law, there appears to be probable cause to charge them with both class B or class C  felonies, which carry prison sentences from five to ten years.

These men have brought great disgrace to law enforcement. They have tarnished the reputation of the state patrol, but even more repugnant is the fact the commander-in-chief of the Washington State Patrol, Governor Christine Gregoire, and the attorney general of Washington State, Rob McKenna, have both dishonorably sanctioned this conduct by not taking appropriate action.

Anthony G. Bamonte

Spokane, WA 99203

(509) 838-7114