SPOKANE, Wash. -The Spokane Regional Health District is investigating a mailer that alleges a City Council candidate is responsible for more than two-dozen health code violations at his restaurant.
The mailer, paid for by a Political Action Committee called Spokane For Honest Government, states that District 3 candidate, Matthew Howes, has “amassed 24 health code violations from Spokane County Health…putting people at risk.”
“We are able to confirm that the data that’s in the mailer is inconsistent with our records,” said Kim Papich, a spokeswoman for the health district.
The Director of Spokane For Honest Government, Randy Marler, pulled health inspection records from the health district’s web site prior to ongoing maintenance.
The web page is currently unavailable, but Marler provided the documentation to KHQ, which indicate that Howes restaurant, Adelo’s Pizza: Italian Restaurant had 24 health code violations since 2005.
“We have only passed along the information contained in a publicly available document,” Marler wrote in an e-mail to KHQ.
Howes says he’s had a small number of health code violations in the past several years, but that they’ve all been immediately corrected.
Furthermore, Howes says he has only owned the restaurant since 2008, so the allegations that he’s had 24 violations since 2005 doesn’t make sense.
“I feel it was unwarranted and unnecessary,” said Howes. “And you should be able to win an election on political views. This has affected my livelihood, family, and employees.”
The mailer also includes the health district’s logo.
Papich says the district never authorized the use of their logo on the mailer.
“We do want to confirm that we did not take part in the production of the mailer and did not give authorization to the use of our logo,” said Papich. “We don’t want our logo or name or brand misrepresented in something we didn’t have a hand in creating.”
Howes opponent, Candace Mumm, said she had nothing to do with the mailer.
The health district is currently pulling records involving code violations at Adelo’s. KHQ has requested those records and will present them once they become available.