The Spokane County Commissioners voted to accept a settlement with a developer that now appears to be fraudulent.  When  Commissioner Todd Mielke was asked by Lancze Douglass to look into the matter, Republican Todd Mielke turned around and asked the guy for a campaign contribution.

I don’t know about you, but to me that smells like a request for a bribe.

The Douglass Brothers

Photo Credit to Accountable  To Spokane.

Spokane County commissioners paid $685,000 in an out-of-court settlement two years ago to a prominent local business family, but some members of that family are alleging in a lawsuit that part of the claim may have involved fraud.

The allegations against developer Harley Douglass were brought to the county’s attention nearly eight months ago by his brother, Lancze Douglass.

Although documents outlining the potential fraud, including sworn depositions detailing alleged check tampering, have been turned over to law enforcement, Spokane County commissioners say they’re worried that seeking repayment could unravel the whole settlement and end up costing the county even more. For that reason, they’ve decided not to explore whether taxpayer money might be recoverable. – Spokesman Review, October 9, 2012.

It does not sound like the settlement deal was very closely examined by the Spokane County Commission.

Todd Mielke Asked for Cash

Lancze Douglass continued to pursue the matter according to the Spokesman Review.

Douglass also says that when he met with County Commissioner Todd Mielke to discuss the alleged fraud, Mielke asked for a campaign contribution.

Mielke acknowledges the request – which took place in Lancze Douglass’ office – but said he has been “asking a lot of people for support this year.” He said he explained to Douglass that his solicitation was not linked to Douglass’ concerns. – Spokesman Review, October 9, 2012.

When a citizen needs help from the Spokane County Commission, it looks like you need to “pay to play.”  Clearly, Todd Mielke does not work for the people that elected him, but instead for his campaign contributors.

Mielke can deny that the request for a contribution had anything to do with the business of the fraud investigation, but reasonable person will be suspicious of that.

Given Mielke’s history including his lobbying work for the Tobacco industry and being an aid to Jim West, this attempt to solicit a bribe should not surprise anyone.  See this site for more information.

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