Oak Creek police chief resigns post

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Oak Creek Police Chief Tim Willert and his wife, Oak Creek Treasurer Mindy Willert, resigned from their respective posts Thursday, citing personal health concerns and the financial challenges of living in Routt County.

Both resignations take effect Aug. 20, just before Oak Creek begins deliberations of next year's budget.

"I'm in shock," Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said after receiving Tim Willert's resignation. "The chief is fabulous."

Tim and Mindy Willert have each held their positions for about 1 1/2 years, Rodeman said.

Mindy Willert indicated she was resigning "in consideration of the town's best interest." She is scheduled for surgery Wednesday and is unsure whether she will be able to return to work after that. Tim Willert cited his wife's health as a primary reason for his resignation.

"Financially we're unable to continue with rent and upcoming hospital bills," Tim Willert said, adding that his wife would be out of work without pay for three to six weeks after her surgery.

The Willerts plan to move to North Dakota, where Tim Willert will drive a truck for his uncle. He said he would pursue another law enforcement position in North Dakota while working for his family's business.

"First and foremost, the chief needs to take care of his wife and kids," Rodeman said.

Rodeman said Thursday afternoon that she expected the Oak Creek Town Board to discuss whether to appoint an interim police chief at the Town Board meeting Thursday night. She said advertisements for both positions would start appearing today.

"My goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible," Tim Willert said.

In addition to a police chief, Oak Creek has two law enforcement officers, one of whom is in field training.

-- To reach Jennie Lay call 871-4210

or e-mail jlay@steamboatpilot.com

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