A bitter dispute between Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and City Attorney Pete Holmes over who has the authority to approve an independent monitor's proposed police reforms could be headed for a courtroom showdown, the Seattle Times reports. McGinn directed Holmes to obtain his written authorization before approving the monitor's far-reaching proposals. Holmes maintains that as the elected city attorney he serves as the city’s chief litigator, giving him the authority to respond to the monitor's proposal based on the best interests of the city.
Monitor Merrick Bobb caught city officials by surprise yesterday when he filed a proposal to assure the Police Department complies with “substantial reform” to address federal findings of excessive force and biased policing. The city agreed to the reforms in a settlement agreement reached with the Department of Justice in July. U.S. District Judge James Robart will hold a hearing on the status of the case next Tuesday. The Justice Department called the plan “what success looks like.”