Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Liar's Dice, Part I: Boise mayor, fire chief try to pull a fast one re: recent drowning, so I've asked the city's ethics commission to investigate [UPDATE: ethics committee to discuss my concerns at August 14 meeting]

City of Boise 2014 Ethics Commission: Peter J. Mundt, Dee Oldham, David Proctor (Chairman), Jodi Nafzger, Tony Roark (source)

On July 16, I reported how my letter to the mayor of Boise, Idaho, triggered a city investigation of a firefighter who told a TV news reporter that he performed the Heimlich maneuver to revive a drowning man.

Click here to watch the video -- this part's at timestamp 2:45. The first paragraph is out of the fireman's mouth. The second paragraph is out of the reporter's mouth.

As Sidebar readers know, "the Heimlich" for drowning rescue is unapproved and warned against as useless and potentially harmful by leading medical and water safety organizations, and its use has reportedly been associated with dozens of poor outcome cases.

The victim, a 56-year-old homeless man named Felix E. Martinez, formerly of Idaho City, died five days later, with no known family or friends.

Last week Boise Mayor David Bieter, Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenber, and Boise Fire Chief David Doan sent me e-mails -- get this -- denying the firefighter "Heimlich-ed" Martinez. 

Did I mention that the TV reporter confirmed to me via e-mail that the firefighter told him he used "the Heimlich" to get “water and sand out of (Martinez's) lungs”?

So today I sent another letter, this time to the City of Boise Ethics Commission, requesting an investigation of the investigation.

I also located case records for Felix Martinez via Boise County Court that led to his ex-wife who divorced in five years ago.

Per the bottom of the first page of my letter -- see below -- maybe she can help identify and locate her ex-husband's next of kin.

Click here to download a copy of my letter.

[7/30/14 UPDATE] This morning I received an e-mail from Elizabeth Koeckeritz, Boise Assistant City Attorney that stated, "The Commission has received your request for review. The Commission next meets on August 14 and we will discuss it at that time."

Via the city's website:

The Ethics Commission meets every 2nd Thursday of the month at 3p.m. in the Bonneville Room, 3rd Floor, Boise City Hall.

9/8/14: Liar's Dice, Part II: Boise TV contradicts claims by mayor and fire chief re: "Heimlich drowning" -- plus investigations updates