Honored to receive the Contribution to Oversight Award!

Last week in Spokane, I received the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement’s Contribution to Oversight Award just after delivering the keynote address.

NACOLE is a national non-profit dedicated to improving oversight of police officers in the U.S. and fair and professional law enforcement that is responsive to community needs. It is an honor to be recognized by this innovative group for my longtime commitment to police reform in Seattle.

As a founding member of the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), police accountability …

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City of Seattle joins lawsuit vs. drug-injection site opponents

October 2, 2017 / Stephen Cohen, SeattlePI

“City Attorney Pete Holmes filed a motion to join the lawsuit against I-27 on Sept. 22, calling the suit “the next logical step in turning away from relying on the criminal justice system to solve public health problems.”

In its suit, Protect Public Health argued that public health policies are to be made administratively, not through legislation, per state law. The suit seeks to have I-27 barred from coming to a vote, which was expected in February.”



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Inside Politics: Battle for City Attorney

September 30, 2017 / Natalie Brand, King 5

“Topics covered:

Cost overrun in city budget unveiled this week
Debate over donations received in the race
View of biggest responsibility and top priorities of the job
View of leadership and role of city attorney in policymaking at city level”


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State AG, City Attorney Announce Lawsuits Against OxyContin Manufacturer

September 28, 2017 / Heidi Groover, The Stranger

“Holmes also linked Seattle’s homelessness crisis to opioid production. The city spends more than $50 million a year on homelessness and its firefighters and parks staff, among others, encounter needles and people using drugs, Holmes said. A recent city survey of people experiencing homelessness found that 55 percent of respondents reported using drugs or alcohol and 13 percent said drug or alcohol abuse was the primary cause of their homelessness.

“Unlike earthquakes and hurricanes, this disaster is a human …

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No Rest for the Wicked–or the Seattle City Attorney’s Office

September 19, 2017 / Sara Bernard, Seattle Weekly

“The city has prevailed in court on a number of cases this year already. A number remain ongoing. And there are certainly a number more to come. Among the possibilities, Holmes predicts, are lawsuits filed over the city’s tax on sugary beverages; the new law that limits landlords’ ability to screen tenants based on their criminal record; any legislation to arise from Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s draft proposal to create separate rules for Seattleites living out of their cars; and the city’s Housing Affordability and …

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Appeals Court Rules SPD’s Use of Force Policy Doesn’t Violate the Second Amendment

September 19, 2017 / Steven Hsieh, The Stranger

“The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that the Seattle Police Department’s updated use of force policy—an initiative borne out of the city’s court-ordered police reform process—does not violate police officers’ Second Amendment rights.”

“‘On behalf of the City, I welcome this confirmation that constitutional policing and officer safety go hand-in-hand,” said City Attorney Pete Holmes, whose office defended the city’s policy in court.”


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New Seattle Mayor Harrell to decide by Friday if he’ll stay through remainder of term

September 16, 2017 / Matt Markovich, KOMO

“We are on a little bit of uncharted ground,” said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who has been advising council members on the rules in Seattle’s City Charter that involve the transition of power at the executive level.

He said the charter was rewritten in the 1970s with provisions for an expected removal of the mayor from office either by death, impeachment or resignation – but some rules are vague.

“It’s one of those things the charter drafters probably didn’t think …

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The C is for Crank Interviews: City Attorney Pete Holmes (Part 2)

September 13, 2017 / Erica C. Barnett, The C is for Crank

“City attorney Pete Holmes was first elected in 2009 as a reformer. A bankruptcy attorney who advocated for marijuana legalization and was one of the original members of the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), the body that reviewed disciplinary decisions in police misconduct cases, he challenged then-incumbent Tom Carr from the left, assailing Carr for cracking down on minor crimes like pot possession and waging war against bars and clubs while letting …

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Whitlatch Settlement Underscores Need for a New, Better, Police Union Contract

September 6, 2017 / Editorial Board, Seattle Weekly

“New lesson: Bad cops get golden parachutes.

“Holmes blames the SPOG contract. “The City must regain its ability to manage, discipline, and hold officers accountable without the impediments that have been inserted into collective-bargaining agreements over the years,” Holmes explained after public outcry against the Whitlatch settlement. “This case demonstrates the vital importance obtaining of new agreements with our police unions that fully embrace reforms achieved through the Consent Decree.’”

Whitlatch Settlement Underscores Need for a New, Better, Police Union Contract

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Trump Ends DACA, Washington Fights Back

September 5, 2017 / Sara Bernard, Seattle Weekly

“Mayor Ed Murray vowed that, despite this news, “the City of Seattle will continue to lead in protecting immigrants and refugees,” both through the newly-established Legal Defense Fund and Seattle’s oft-reiterated commitment to ensure that no city employee or police officer ask about citizenship status. All city services are available to all residents, regardless of immigration status, Murray said. City Attorney Pete Holmes reiterated that promise: “I will do everything in my power as City Attorney to ensure that the …

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