Site icon Everett Leader Herald

The probe; the inquiry; the investigation

We are not exactly certain what the US Attorney is doing in Everett.

Is it a probe, as City Solicitor Colleen Mejia referred to it last week at a city council meeting?

Is it an inquiry, which some knowledgeable people call the US Attorney’s action in Everett?

Or is it an investigation?

We were under the belief the probe and or the inquiry is, in reality, an investigation.

Mejia, however, insisted last week that the probe is not an investigation. She said an investigation would be the next step, if the probe should morph into that.

We had assumed the probe either dies on its own merit, is killed by influencers who have more power than the US Attorney, or it coalesces into an investigation cum court case.

The attorneys at Greenberg Traurig leading the city’s defense in this case have said unequivocally that their effort is to stop this probe from becoming a court case.


A court case will require charges, questions of laws not being followed, possible civil right violations going back five years that might ostensibly include charges of racism, discrimination and retaliation against the city, the mayor and or its public officials.

If that comes to pass, the city needs to defend itself in Federal Court, which will be a different species of action from what has so far taken place with Greenberg Traurig.

To date, all the documents asked for by the US Attorney and the Justice Department have apparently been delivered, according to Mejia.

Through November, Greenberg Traurig billed the city about $440,000 for gathering the papers.

The senior attorneys handling the case are billing the city $790 an hour, an incredible sum of money covering the cost for labor for gathering documents and sending them on to the

US Attorney’s office and to the Department of Justice.

The cost of a trial would be extraordinary by comparison. A trial will necessitate the production of information and evidence called discovery. This could take months and many hundreds of hours of lawyers sifting through information, examining e-mails, writing motions, examining on-line posts, answering interrogatories, coaching witnesses before depositions and on and on.

Will this happen?

During a given week we speak with many people who say yes and just as many people who say no.

This week’s no’s were especially prescient, that is to say, those we spoke with indicated “nothing is going to happen.” These sources are either mind readers or they speak with the US Attorney or with the lawyers representing the city at Greenberg Traurig.

Frankly, we believe such talk with those parties regarding the probe or whatever it is is the stuff of hyperbole, and self-sustaining story telling.

The mayor said in public two weeks ago that “nothing is going to happen to me.”

Many people in this city believed him.

Perhaps he knows the outcome of this probe we are not aware of before the game has been played?

For our part, we welcome the decision of the probe by the US Attorney and the Justice Department.

If those two law enforcement entities say there is nothing there and that Everett is on the up and up about how leadership treats the city’s people of color and ethnicity, well, we will accept that decision.

If the probe metamorphosizes into a Federal case, we will accept that decision.

In the meantime, there is precious little to go on to determine what is going to happen, if anything.

The redacted version of Greenberg Traurig’s billing statement is indicative of how very little is being released by the city to keep in accordance with client-lawyer privilege.

The public has no real idea what is going on.

It is all private and hush hush.

In the end, when that day finally arrives, we will know the truth.

We await that day.

Exit mobile version