Chief offered almost $13K

Retirement package includes three months' salary, insurance

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— Retired Hayden Police Chief Jody Lenahan says he was given three months' salary and money equivalent to one month of health insurance as part of a retirement package.

Lenahan, who retired from the police department Oct. 9 after being chief for 27 years, volunteered the information Monday after the town of Hayden denied a Colorado Open Records Act request asking for information about the package.

The request was e-mailed to the town Wednesday evening and requested "records pertaining to a retirement package for retired Hayden Police Chief Jody Lenahan."

On Monday, Hayden Town Manager Russ Martin denied the request in writing and attached a letter from the town's attorney outlining the reasons. Steamboat Springs attorney Michael Holloran wrote, "assuming that the retirement package is in Mr. Lenahan's personnel file, it may not be inspected and copied for the Steamboat Pilot (& Today)."

Holloran also cited a statute, which addresses how government employees can be compensated once they are no longer employees. The statute states Lenahan is eligible for compensation because the Town Board, which is composed of elected officials, hired him.

Martin confirmed Lenahan was given a "retirement package," but details about the package would need to come from Lenahan, because it is a personnel issue, he said.

The three-month salary payout would be equal to about $11,900. A month's worth of health insurance that he said he received was a little more than $1,000.

On Sept. 7, the Hayden Town Board met in executive session with Lenahan and Martin. After the closed-session meeting, Lenahan offered his retirement notice, which was then accepted by the board. Because the meeting was held in executive session, town officials refused to reveal what was discussed, but Lenahan has said he retired voluntarily. Lenahan is looking for a new job.

- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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