Steamboat Springs An independent investigation of former deputy district Attorney Charles Feldmann's use of an expense fund has begun.
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Michael Goodbee has assigned his chief investigator, Jerry Sandberg, to look into how the expense fund was used between October and May 14, the date of Feldmann's resignation.
Goodbee said he expects the investigation to be completed within a month.
Sandberg is examining Feldmann's use of the expense fund not only during his time as a prosecutor but also during his stint as project director of the Grand, Moffat and Routt Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Other than saying the investigation has begun, Goodbee declined further comment, as did Sandberg.
"He has started to work on the case," Goodbee said of the veteran investigator. "He has conducted telephone interviews and has made a trip up there."
Feldmann also has declined comment on either the investigation or his sudden departure as a prosecutor.
Goodbee was appointed May 17 to handle the investigation by Routt County Judge James Garrecht.
Garrecht appointed Goodbee, who is the district attorney for Summit and Eagle counties, at the request of Feldmann's former boss, 14th Judicial District Attorney Paul McLimans.
Feldmann worked under McLimans for more than four years. Feldmann resigned abruptly days following a May 10 meeting with McLimans when the expense fund reportedly was discussed.
After receiving Feldmann's brief, written resignation, McLimans requested that a special investigator/prosecutor look into the matter.
The district attorney said the request for an independent office to investigate the matter is to avoid any conflicts of interest or appearances of impropriety.
Like the others, McLimans has refused further comment about any aspect of the expense fund.
Sandberg will file a written report when his investigation is complete, Goodbee said.
"We will take a look at the report and then decide what to do," Goodbee said.
If criminal charges are filed against Feldmann, Goodbee may handle the case himself or assign it to one of his deputies, he said.