A 26-year veteran of the Spokane Police Department will lead the troubled agency, at least for the next few months.

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A 26-year veteran of the Spokane Police Department will lead the troubled agency, at least for the next few months.

On his first business day as Spokane’s mayor, David Condon appointed Maj. Scott Stephens interim police chief and announced plans to review the department’s use-of-force policies and training.

Stephens replaces former Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, who retired effective Monday, at a time of low morale and deep division within the department.

Former Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. was convicted in November of using excessive force in the beating and death of unarmed janitor Otto Zehm, then lying about it to investigators.

Federal prosecutors called the department’s handling of the case an “extensive cover-up,” and the U.S. Justice Department is contemplating whether to open a full investigation of the department’s practices.

At least one other Spokane police officer remains under federal investigation for her role in the case of Zehm, who was mistakenly identified as a potential thief.

“Obviously over the last several months, if not the last year, confidence in our Spokane Police Department has been eroded by recent events, and we need to work to restore that,” Condon said just before administering Stephens’ oath of office at a news conference.