Oak Creek police chief resigns

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Oak Creek's chief of police has resigned after just more than three months on the job.

Chief Guytano Farnan, who officially began Dec. 10, submitted a letter of resignation Friday.

In that letter, he wrote that he would work until April 1, Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said. The letter also read, "I feel at this time it is in my best interest both professionally and personally to seek other career opportunities," Crawford said.

When called, Farnan said, "no comment." He hung up immediately.

The town has paid Farnan almost $15,000 in salary since Sept. 23, when he began training to get certification from the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said. He received a portion of his working salary while in training.

The town also paid about $5,000 for Farnan's training, but according to an agreement, the town should get two-thirds of that back, or about $3,400, Rodeman said.

Routt County Undersheriff Dan Taylor said Farnan has applied for positions with the Sheriff's Office.

Rodeman said she was upset with Farnan's decision.

"I'm real disappointed," Rodeman said. "When somebody promises you that they definitely will be there for five years, sure you're disappointed."

The Town Board will decide what to do next, Rodeman said. Options include hiring a new chief, having just one officer, or having one officer and a part-time code enforcement officer.

Rodeman said she prefers having Linda Koile as the only officer, than hiring someone part-time to enforce the town's code.

The town is "very fortunate" to have Koile, Rodeman said. "You actually know that you're paying good money for good work in return."

Farnan was chosen from 32 applicants by a nine-person panel, Rodeman said. He was replacing the previous chief, Tim Willert, who left last summer after a year and a half with the town. When Officer Felipe Nardo also resigned last fall, the town's force was left with only Koile, who received some help from longtime reserve officer Eileen Rossi.

Rodeman said she thought that Koile has been doing "all of the work" since Nardo resigned.

"Linda has been doing all the work anyhow," Rodeman said. "She does a great job, she loves the town. The docket's full, and every case on it is Linda's."

Rodeman said that Farnan did not work for the town long enough for her to form an opinion of his work.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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