Tonasket Mayor Accused of Making Racist Remarks

Former Tonasket Policce officer, Jose Perez testifies at Tuesday City Council meeting

TONASKET, WA.-The mayor of Tonasket came under fire last night during a regular city council meeting. The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle reports the town’s Mayor Dennis Brown was accused of asking a former city police officer, Jose Perez, to change his name from Jose to Joseph because it sounded too “stereotypical, too Hispanic.”

Mayor denies accusations

The Mayor has denied the accusations explaining that the name change was a “translation.” Perez approached the City Council this week with his complaint. The video comes to NCWLIFE courtesy of Brock Hires with the Omak Chronicle . . .


The Chronicle reports that Mayor Brown has been under a watchful eye from the public after the firing, re-hiring and firing of Police Chief Darin Odegaard last month, and officer John Cruz. Perez was terminated Sunday afternoon. The city has since disbanded its police department and is now in discussions to contract with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services.

Council member Jill Ritter also announced at Monday’s meeting that she is casting a no confidence vote for the Mayor.

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.