Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Steamboat Springs A Routt County Sheriff's Office detention deputy was fired Monday for what officials said was violation of the department's conduct policy.
Sheriff's Office Investigator Ken Klinger said Tuesday that Mitchell Bachmann, 23, will not face criminal charges. However, Klinger said Bachmann violated several Sheriff's Office policies during the Aug. 12 incident, in which Bachmann allegedly approached an 18-year-old woman at a Fort Collins convenience store, asked her personal questions and for directions to a nightclub, and then asked her to get into his vehicle. Bachmann was wearing a black polo T-shirt with the word "sheriff" on it at the time of the incident.
"Through the internal affairs investigation, we determined that while (Bachmann) was cleared of any criminal charge, the way he acted was inappropriate and in violation of our codes," Klinger said. "What he did wasn't illegal, but there were some real serious issues in judgment and the codes we live by."
Bachmann doesn't have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Bachmann was on paid administrative leave until Monday's termination, Klinger said.
On Aug. 13, Bachmann contacted the Larimer County Sheriff's Office after he saw Denver-area media coverage about the incident. At the time, Larimer County officials were considering Bachmann was impersonating a police officer. The Routt County Sheriff's Office was notified of the incident after Bachmann called Larimer County officials.
Larimer County Sheriff James Alderden said Aug. 15 that the Fort Collins community has a heightened awareness of such situations because of several recent incidents involving law enforcement impersonators.
Klinger said Bachmann is a former Fort Collins resident who had worked at the Routt County Sheriff's Office for less than three months. Bachmann was not working at the time of the incident, Klinger said.
All Sheriff's Office employees are "discouraged" from wearing Sheriff's Office uniforms or apparel when not on duty, Klinger said.
"When you put on a badge, whether you're in detention or not, you're in the public spotlight," Klinger said. "We hold ourselves to higher standards than everyone else."