Open and closed books

Sheriff's candidates disagree about releasing their personnel files

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— The two candidates for Routt County sheriff are squaring off over whether they should release their personnel files to the public.

On Thursday, Democratic candidate Gary Wall authorized the Steamboat Pilot & Today to obtain copies of his personnel files from the Aspen and Vail police departments, for which Wall worked as an officer and chief in the 1960s and '70s.

Wall suggested that Republican candidate Garrett Wiggins also release his personnel files - from the Quincy (Fla.) Police Department, Routt County Sheriff's Office and Steamboat Springs Police Department - and allow Wiggins' supervisors to discuss any aspect of his employment.

On Friday, Wiggins said he would not authorize such a release based upon advice from his supervisors.

"I have been advised by my administrators not to allow my personnel files to be open to the public. I'm going to have to follow their recommendations," Wiggins said.

Wiggins said his decision not to authorize the release of the files does not mean he is withholding anything from voters.

"I have absolutely nothing to hide in any of my personnel files. I have been forthcoming and admitted to a reprimand that is nearly 20 years old," he said. "If anyone has questions relative to my employment history, I will be more than happy to answer those questions."

Wiggins' refusal to release the files is a disservice to the residents of Routt County, Wall said.

"I think that somebody running for sheriff should release all their personnel files so that the people of Routt County know exactly who they're voting for," he said. "This isn't an election based solely on credentials and work experience, it's an election based on honesty, integrity and character. The only way those qualities can be exposed is to have all the past records exposed, especially those relating to law enforcement."

In recent weeks, Wall has criticized Wiggins for being a patrol officer for two decades without being promoted to a supervisory position.

"These files are so important because Mr. Wiggins is asking the people to give him a promotion when he has never even been promoted to the role of investigator," Wall said. "The people of Routt County should know why."

During an online chat on Steamboatpilot.com on Friday, Wiggins dismissed claims that he lacks supervisory experience.

"I managed a large private corporation where I was responsible for as many as 70 employees, a million-dollar budget and a several-million-dollar inventory," Wiggins wrote. "I managed this facility for over three years, and I have a proven track record for my supervisory and management skills. The amount of employees and the size of the budget that I was responsible for is much larger than the budget and staffing of the entire Vail Police Department in the late 1970s."

The Steamboat Pilot & Today is in the process of obtaining Wall's personnel files from his stints in Aspen and Vail.

- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Hmmm 8 years ago

If you want a Sheriff who: only has 12 years of law enforcement experience, has not been in law enforcement in 27 years, is NOT a Colorado state certified police officer, has filed for bankruptcy, has had 3 IRS tax liens against him, was arrested and charged with 2 crimes in 2001....then vote for Gary Wall.

If you want a Sheriff who: currently works in law enforcement and has 20+ years experience, IS a Colorado state certified police officer, has never filed for bankruptcy, has never had any IRS tax liens against him, and has never been arrested or charged with a crime....then vote for Garrett Wiggins.

These are the facts people, which were printed in the paper by the Pilot. For those of you who continue to say that Wiggins has no supervisory experience....HE DOES!....his experience has been printed in the paper several times, so get over it!! In fact, from reading about the supervisory experience Wiggins has, it looks like it's much more than anything Wall did (law enforcement or otherwise)....can you say "bankruptcy" and "tax liens"?....and Wall wants to use my tax dollars....I don't think so! I'm sorry, but this time around I will not be voting for the Democratic candidate because I'm Democrat....I'm voting for the more qualified candidate, Wiggins....I've read the facts, I want a certified police officer as Sheriff, and I want my tax dollars to be used to improve the Sheriff's Office, not be audited by the IRS!

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babette dickson 8 years ago

you guys are arguing about pennies. let's put it this way. hypothesis: 2 guys are caught digging up in a trash...(remember!) Results; Gary would say "move on and go buy your food" Wiggy: "let's book them all and have an example"

Go Gary and spend our tax money on real issues...

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Hmmm 8 years ago

steamboat_pilot- Those people that you are talking about that need to be arrested for "white collar crime"....the ones that hold titles, offices, or can use other people's money to hire lawyers for defense....duh, those are the exact same people that are voting for Gary Wall and they're doing so because they know they will be able to continue to get away with it. I'm very suprised that you are unable to figure that out. Besides, would you happen to have any "for instance" regarding these "white collar crime" issues....some factual examples would be nice in order to back your statement appropriately (just wondering).

One more thing....Gary Wall only has 12 years of true law enforcement experience, has filed for bankruptcy, has had 3 IRS tax liens against him, and has been arrested (2001)....how does that qualify him to address such a serious issue like "white collar crime"??? Obviously it doesn't and it doesn't qualify him as the best candidate to be the next Sheriff. You may not like Wiggins as a choice, but at least his background and experience make him the more qualified candidate....the facts are right there in the articles printed by the Pilot. I said it once and I'll say it again, if Wiggins had a background like Wall....I would vote for neither. Clearly Wiggins is the more qualified candidate and voting along party lines just doesn't work this time....at least not for me. The "white collar crime" issues can be addressed effectively, but they need to be addressed by someone who (at the very least) has a true law enforcement background....not someone who has these "white collar criminals" voting for him.

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JazzSlave 8 years ago

JC Penny was famously quoted as saying that he didn't trust any man who hadn't been bankrupt at least three times.

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Hmmm 8 years ago

I agree with #s....let us see the police report from when Wall was arrested....poster, liakoz, would like everyone to believe that Wall wasn't drunk and disorderly when contacted by those officers in Arizona (Wall just likes to jog home after a night at a casino and leave his vehicle in the parking lot)....again, "ignorance is bliss". If Wall thinks that officers were happy that he campaigned against them....he is surely "off his rocker"....just one more ignorant statement. I would also like my Sheriff to be a state certified officer (like Wiggins)....doesn't surprise me that Wall wants to circumvent the very thing that Colorado officers work their butts off to obtain (i.e. POST certification)....that shows me that he is lazy and not willing to go the extra mile to become Sheriff. Bankruptcy and tax liens...sorry, Wall's not using my tax dollars....he can't even manage the wallet in his back pocket.

steamboat_pilot: I can understand your frustration and that you would like to see some "concrete" responses to those issues. Again, I ask you how Gary Wall is the more qualified candidate to address those issues you speak of?? (he's filed for bankruptcy, had 3 IRS tax liens against him, been arrested, only has 12 or so years of true law enforcement experience, and those "white collar criminals" will be voting for him....not to mention, he has campaigned against law enforcement and clearly stated that law enforcement continually violates people's rights)....that gives me the clear understanding that Wall will do nothing to bring these people to justice. At least Wiggins has a true law enforcement background (20+ years) and has the ability to appropriately address those concerns (i.e. no bankruptcy, no tax liens, never been arrested, pro-law enforcement, STATE CERTIFIED OFFICER, etc.). Getting someone to listen and then act can be difficult, but you at least need to start with someone who has that ability....not someone who caters to the people responsible for the crimes being committed.

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Hmmm 8 years ago

I here what you're saying and I'd like to make a couple of points....1)Wall is 65 yrs. old and unlikely to seek another term, but if he were elected it would be 4 years of absolutely nothing getting done....all you need to do is look at his background to see that (I think I've already pointed those background issues out)....Wall doesn't even want to take the time to become a state certified officer (he said it in the debate). 2)We have 2 candidates running for Sheriff....1 who is clearly the more qualified candidate and 1 who is absolutely not qualified to be Sheriff (again, Wall's background says it all)....Wiggins has the ability to tackle these issues (along with his Undersheriff who would run the day to day operations). Wall does not even appear to be remotely interested in tackling any issues but barking dogs ("I will look into hiring somebody who lives in Hahn's Peak to address those issues" (barking dogs & snowmobiles)....wow, can't wait for my tax dollars to be spent on that crisis....what a joke! We don't even know who Wall's Undersheriff will be if he's elected....what's he hiding? Is it one of those "white collar criminals" we're talking about?....wouldn't suprise me. Wiggins is the clear choice for Sheriff, because he will at least put forth an effort for the citizens of Routt County....do you want pro-law enforcement or anti-law enforcement, state certified Sheriff or non state certified Sheriff, action or re-action?

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Hmmm 8 years ago

felix- "spend our tax money on real issues"?....like hiring somebody who lives in Hahn's Peak to address the issue of barking dogs? Wow, that is definitely a crisis that requires an immediate expenditure of tax payer dollars....it amazes me that people think Wall can spend any money (especially tax payer dollars)....say it with me, "bankruptcy"..."IRS tax liens". As to the guys digging up trash...Wall would say, "You're not doing it right. First, you guys need to break into the store. Then, you need to wait until the police arrive and threaten that you have a weapon. Then, you need to give up and cry that your rights have been violated because the "bad police officers" wouldn't let you get anything to eat. I will show up at the jail, give you my business card, and lead another campaign against law enforcement because your rights were violated."

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babette dickson 8 years ago

certification is not the issue, State will dictate the winning candidate what needs to be done in that matter. what concerns me is the philosophy adopted to read and apply the law. I don't trust wiggy who will handle our county as if it was a high crime denver / chicago /houston/palm beach area.... i don't need a "hot shot black sunglasses looking cop". i need a guy who knows how to select his priorities, and barking dogs, loose dogs is somewhere on the list anyway because it is steamboat for you. We have a murder once every 15 years, or 5 in a century... so please set back and put everything in perspective. Gary will take care of domestic abuses - big in this town - and arrest these people and not the dumpster divers. He will certainly break in 2 pieces big hard drug dealers - a real concern in our county and neighbouring counties - in other words take care of big offenses, and let people live their life instead of living on a cop county collecting speed tickets for 5 miles/hour above limit because of a power trip. do you see what i mean?

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Hmmm 8 years ago

Certification is not the issue? Well, it is certainly part of it. The state will dictate what needs to be done? No they won't. Wouldn't it be great for the citizens of Routt County if Wall got elected and then couldn't pass the certification (POST)? He wants the state to "waive" the certification for him....he hasn't been in law enforcement in 27 years and has absolutely no certifications....why would they "waive" it? He's just lazy and feels that he does not have to do what is expected of all men/women who want to be police officers in Colorado (i.e. become certified). Wall is going to arrest people and get "tough" on crime? He led a campaign against law enforcement, has been arrested, and said it's normal for teenagers to have "weed" in their pocket....but whatever you say. Oh and felix, don't confuse the Colorado State Patrol with the Routt County Sheriff's Office or Steamboat P.D. FYI, they're different agencies...the State Patrol focuses on traffic (i.e. giving people tickets for going 5 m.p.h. over the limit) and the Sheriff's Office and SSPD respond to barking dog complaints/loud parties. One other thing, you talk about Wall taking care of the big offenses....again, he wants to hire someone to take care of the barking dogs & snowmobiles in Hahn's Peak....although they're on the list, those are not big offenses and don't require a "crisis response"....and no, I don't see what you mean. Vote for the qualified candidate (the one who is state certified, never been arrested, never filed for bankruptcy, never had any IRS tax liens, etc.)...but if you want to vote for Wall just because he's Democrat and so are you, then that is your right (I'm not).

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babette dickson 8 years ago

379 whatever... you are the STUPID judge mental mooron uneducated f... who told you that i would direspect any victim or family of victims... i personally was a victim and routt county sheriff handled the case so poorly that even Judge Garrecht was in dismay. i am not considering victims of routt county as statistics, but i do recognize that violent crime is our county is so low that the type of law enforcement we need has nothing to do with high crime areas such as major cities. that is one of the reason we live here. and ignorant yourself I got a ticket once 7 years ago by a sheriff officer, not state patrol, for a 5 mile/h over limit. so shut up and Hhmmmmm yes I am a democrat and very proud to fight this country full of fascists like you! SO THERE!

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Hmmm 8 years ago

felix- In my post, I never told you to shut up....you are very good at showing me how childish you are. If you posted something that was in tune with the educated Democrats of this county, it would not matter to me how you felt or how you were going to vote....it's your right to vote for who you want. On the other hand, when you use 3rd grade grammar to speak on your points....yeah, you sound like a child (shut up, no you shut up, etc., etc., etc.). Oh yeah, I forgot the "SO THERE" part....well said felix, you got me. You got a ticket once 7 years ago, by a Sheriff's Deputy (or officer), for 5 m.p.h. over the limit? I agree, that's ridiculous and a waste of paper. But come on felix, let it go. I've received a few tickets during my life, but I don't hold it against the officer that gave it to me or hold it against the department he/she works for. I'm a "big person" (words you understand, like "shut up" and "SO THERE") and I move on with my life, whether I agreed with the ticket or not. Yes felix, be proud of who you are and what you stand for....just don't sound so "dumbo" when you do it (makes the rest of us look bad). And from 1 "facist" Dem (as you would call me when you don't know me) to another, I guess, "regular" Dem....Gary Wall is not the most qualified candidate....sorry for bursting your "bubble gum bubble".

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babette dickson 8 years ago

hmmm... first the "shut up was not addressed to you but to 555... i respect your opinion too and the fact that you chose to be on the right side of the political scene... sorry you perceive me as a 3rd grader... but as an ex illegal, then legal, then american citizen with german roots... i have a hard time to contain myself with the average ignorance of the average american that you are probably not. it would be tool ong to explain and eventually because of the gender in culture... a lost of time... vote for wiggy and i vote for gary.... we'll see on 11/7...

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