Wednesday, March 28, 2001
Steamboat Springs Inmates in the Routt County Jail will continue to be allowed to work outside the jail but only under the direct supervision of a deputy.
Inmates will no longer be trusted to perform such tasks as shoveling snow from sidewalks or throwing trash outside the jail without the direct supervision of an officer, Sheriff John Warner said Wednesday.
Warner was forced to make a change in the jail's policy because of a Feb. 6 incident in which an inmate allegedly left the jail grounds to purchase a bottle of peppermint schnapps.
James Todd Reimer allegedly went to a nearby liquor store to purchase the alcohol when he had been let out of the facility to throw trash and shovel snow.
At the time, Reimer and a second inmate, Alfred Flood, were being monitored by periodic checks by a deputy and a camera that has a limited view of the area Reimer and Flood were shoveling.
The two inmates were later caught in the evening drinking the alcohol in the jail's kitchen.
Warner made the change in the jail's policy after an internal investigation was conducted. The internal investigation revealed that none of the jail's policies had been violated by any of the deputies on duty, Warner said. However, the investigation did reveal how Reimer was able to get a hold of his Colorado identification card and money to allegedly purchase the alcohol. Reimer was able to get his identification card when a door to the property room was accidentally left open, Warner said. To ensure this does not happen again, the door's lock has been changed so it locks automatically, he said.
Reimer was able to get a $20 bill from a card that was sent to him by a family member, Warner said.
At the time of the incident, Reimer and Flood each worked as a trusty. The men performed various tasks that included cleaning the facility, preparing and serving meals, laundry and shoveling sidewalks free of snow.
Reimer, 30, faces charges of second-degree possession of contraband, a class one misdemeanor, and two counts of second-degree assault on a peace officer, a class four felony.
Reimer faces the felony assault charges for allegedly kicking a deputy and a state trooper while they tried to place him in a restraint chair after he was caught with the liquor.