CBI investigating airport

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Colorado Bureau of Investigation officials were in Routt County all week, looking into allegations surrounding Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Routt County Sheriff John Warner said the CBI interviewed current and past employees of the airport. Some of the allegations involve a hole dug on airport grounds and possible debris and containers that were buried there, Warner said. The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to join the investigation next week.

The Routt County Sheriff's Office handed over the investigation to the CBI and EPA to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest stemming from one county agency investigating another, Warner said. An administrative investigation conducted by county officials and the Sheriff's Office led to the decision to launch the criminal investigation at YVRA, Sheriff's Office officials said.

The CBI is conducting the criminal investigation, and the county is continuing with the administrative investigation, Warner said.

Routt County Commissioner Dan Ellison would not comment about the progression of the administrative investigation, how many employees it involved, how long the investigation would take or the nature of the investigation. County Manager Tom Sullivan, who is in charge of the investigation, has been out of town for the week.

"It will get done when it gets done," Ellison said.

Commissioner Doug Monger said the investigation has nothing to do with financial impropriety.

"It has to do with other things at the airport," Monger said.

County officials have stressed that the investigation also has nothing to do with passenger safety and that the airport is safe for the flying public.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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