SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor David Condon will soon travel to the hometowns of the final three police chief candidates in order to get more background information on each of the finalists. The move is especially critical since news broke this week that a finalist dropped out of the running after his credentials were questioned.
The fourth finalist for the job, retired Stockton Police Chief Blair Ulring, withdrew his name after a Spokesman-Review article found he bought a bachelors and masters degree from a diploma mill.
But what if, after the mayor travels to the candidate's home towns, Condon and the rest of his advisory panels decide that none of the current candidates fit the bill for Spokane's top cop job?
In an interview on Wednesday, Mayor Condon told KHQ that he was confident one of the three finalists would become chief. Vying for the position is Daniel Mahoney, the Commanding Officer of the Ingleside Police Station within the San Francisco Police Department; George Markert, as the Director of the Office of Public Integrity for Rochester, NY; and Frank Straub, the Director of Public Safety in Indianapolis.
That being said, the mayor explained that he'd been speaking with mayors and police chiefs across the country about what to do in case they decide these candidates are not the right fit. Condon says, if he finds that he's not satisfied with the responses from the interview panels that he is open to start the search for the police chief position all over again.
"I am open if we do not find somebody but, I'll tell you, I've heard and it was probably the gnawing gut feeling that what if what of these isn't the candidate? I have heard affirmation, affirmation over and over again today that the interview panels feel ... with differing opinions ... that they believe they are all highly qualified for the job," Condon said.
City spokesperson Marlene Feist said Condon will likely leave for the candidates' home towns sometime in the first week of August and have a decision on chief sometime next month.
Condon said the process is still very much open and the public still has the opportunity to give their feedback through the end of the month.