Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Reprise: Public Corruption - Who Investigates It

Now that the initial investigation into Spokane Mayor Jim West's conduct in office will be done by federal authorities, most likely the Justice Department's Criminal Division - Public Integrity Section, it might be worthwhile to review my post from March 4, 2005, entitled Public Corruption - Who Investigates It.

The Public Integrity Section oversees the federal effort to combat corruption through the prosecution of elected and appointed public officials at all levels of government. The Section has exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of criminal misconduct on the part of federal judges and also monitors the investigation and prosecution of election and conflict of interest crimes. Section attorneys prosecute selected cases against federal, state, and local officials, and are available as a source of advice and expertise to other prosecutors and investigators. Since 1978, the Section has supervised the administration of the Independent Counsel provisions of the Ethics in Government Act.

It was wise for the Washington State Attorney General to defer initially to the US Department of Justice. Since West was a state legislator, there could be reasonable concern that some people in Olympia might bear a grudge against him that could taint a state investigation. Then, too, conducting overlapping but supposedly independent investigations seems wasteful and counterproductive.


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