Deputies don't drive Wall

Change of venue possible for Routt County sheriff's DUI trial

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Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall

— The loss of his driver's license has not impeded Gary Wall's ability to perform his duties as sheriff, an official with the Routt County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.

"He's here every day," Investigator Ken Klinger said.

Klinger also dismissed the potential concern that Sheriff's Office resources are being used to address the situation. Klinger said Sheriff's Office employees are not ferrying Wall around town.

"I can assure you that's not happening," Klinger said. "He's very careful about that because that wouldn't be right."

Wall was at a conference in Denver on Thursday. He did not return a message left on his cell phone.

Klinger also noted that the lack of a driver's license is not as large of a burden for Wall as it would be for other Sheriff's Office employees, due to the administrative nature of Wall's position.

"His duties are (at the Sheriff's Office) and at the county commissioners," Klinger said. "It's not like he needs to be out running traffic."

The Colorado State Patrol revoked Wall's license in October because he refused to take a chemical breath test after being pulled over at Walton Creek Road and U.S. Highway 40 for a failure to dim his headlights. Wall was subsequently cited for driving under the influence.

Wall appealed the revocation to the Colorado Department of Revenue and was given a temporary license. But, in a Dec. 19 hearing, Department of Revenue officer Art Julian upheld the State Patrol's yearlong revocation.

Wall has the option of appealing that decision in Routt County District Court, Department of Revenue spokesman Mark Couch said Thursday. Employees in the clerk's office at Routt County Court said the decision has not yet been appealed, but noted Wall has up to 30 days to do so.

If Wall is convicted of DUI in a criminal trial, he faces an additional yearlong loss of his driver's license.

Earlier this week, prosecutor Karen Romeo said her investigation of the case had wrapped up, the results had been shared with Wall's attorney Ron Smith and the negotiation of a possible plea agreement would begin by the end of the week. Romeo would not say whether she will entertain dropping the DUI charge as part of an agreement.

Also by the end of the week, Romeo said she would decide whether or not she will be requesting a change of venue for the trial, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Routt County Court. Messages left at the offices of both Romeo and Smith were not returned Thursday.

Whether the venue changes for a potential criminal trial, the judge will change. Routt County Judge James Garrecht has presided over the case thus far to see it through the preliminary stages. During Wall's first court appearance in November, however, Garrecht said that he would recuse himself from the case when it moves forward due to the court's close working relationship with the Routt County Sheriff's Office.

The 14th Judicial District also recused itself from the case to avoid the same perceived conflict of interest, which is why Romeo, assistant district attorney for the Fifth Judicial District, was appointed special prosecutor.

The Sheriff's Office initiated an internal affairs investigation following Wall's citation for DUI. Klinger said the investigation is not yet complete. Upon completion, the results of the investigation will be turned in to Undersheriff David Bustos.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

raver 6 years, 11 months ago

So,how is he getting around?City bus?Doubt it.

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JustAsking 6 years, 11 months ago

Brandon, did you not ask the obvious question, not get an answer, or just fail to put it in your report?

How is Wall getting around? Driving himself illegally? Alpine taxi? Riding with Bustos?

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 11 months ago

Brandon, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze, you left out the point of your story, how the hell is he getting around????????????????

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

Raver- The SST doesn't make it out to Silver Spur, where he lives.

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Mary Stanton 6 years, 11 months ago

People, don't worry about it. All you need to concern yourself with is the fact that he is not using county resources and he is not driving himself. Otherwise, really it's NONE of your damn business and I am sure there are much more important things for you to occupy your time with than demanding to know how Gary Wall is getting around town.

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blahblahblah 6 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the update on the Wall situation. But couldn't you have gotten a photo of him hoofing it down 40? That would've been satisfying.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 11 months ago

doesn't matter if it's any of our damn business or not, we want to know, how the hell is he getting around.......

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tmac62 6 years, 11 months ago

wall is our business he is not fit to be in office the under sh//// is covering the investigation wha?????

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raver 6 years, 11 months ago

kielbasa-would be nice if it ran to silver spur and stmbt 2,but thats another issue!so how is getting around on the taxpayers dollar?

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twostroketerror 6 years, 11 months ago

Saw his GF driving him in a county vec. yesterday. Oh, wait, thats an allegation. I have no idea if they're still dating. Sorry.

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CoJustice 6 years, 11 months ago

I still have never seen the final County Budget regarding the liability insurance cost of the Sheriffs Department, especially if private citizens are now driving county vehicles. Again, public funding is public business, and citizens do have the right to know. Is this abuse of County Vehicles another lack of integrity issue?

The County Commissioners need to get involved and investigate the possibility of citizens driving County Vehicles, and take action.

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twostroketerror 6 years, 11 months ago

Also, it was just an unmarked white dodge durango. I've no idea if it was county issue. But he wasn't driving.

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Benny 6 years, 11 months ago

Okay so, it's been clarified that deputies are not driving him around. What about other employees with primarily administrative duties?

2stroke: His girlfriend was driving him in a county vehicle? Whoa. Is she covered as a driver on the county's insurance policy?

I thank the Pilot for following up on this; I think their intentions were in the right place. However, if they don't have the resources to be investigative reporters, then maybe 9 news needs to investigate this and let us know the answers we seek.

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katrinkakelly 6 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like the same vehicle he was stopped in to me?

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dundalk 6 years, 11 months ago

The article reports that Wall was in Denver for a conference on Thursday. Was this conference work related? If so, how did he get there? While he is in Denver, (if he is there solo), how is he getting around? Public transportation, taxi? Is he using a county budget per diem pay to supplement his travel expenses? If Bustos or another sheriff's dept employee (with a county vehicle) is driving Wall to and from home, then isn't he technically using the benefits of the sheriff's department to get around (and at the taxpayers expense)?

If the statement made by one of the posters here is correct and his gal pal is driving him around in a county vehicle, aren't we the county entitled to an accounting of that?

Come on Steamboat Pilot...if the county taxpayers are footing the bill for this nonsense, then we are justified in asking for an explanation. DIg a bit deeper in the reporting.

County Commissioners: Do your job!

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CoJustice 6 years, 11 months ago

I assume Wall claims he was on official business, and representation when he was pulled over since he was displaying a badge and gun? So what are the current Attorney billable hours at so far? My best guesstimate with consultation of Commissioners on budget, official business propaganda at the ranch, Attorney public statement accounts, etc., He should be at about $50,000.00.

When will the Commissioners release this infomation?

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justathought 6 years, 11 months ago

Remember "be careful what you wish for, you might get it"? Well, you asked for it when you voted "for change" without investigating your "candidate of change". Let us hope the presidential election has a better outcome.

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Watcher 6 years, 11 months ago

You all know Ken Klinger is doing the so called 'investigation' of Wall but he KNOWS that the sheriff wouldn't be letting his girlfriend drive the county vehicle for him because: "I can assure you that's not happening," Klinger said. "He's very careful about that because that wouldn't be right."
Oh my, that wouldn't be right but refusing to take a breath or blood test to prove his innocence (or guilt, I'll let you work it out) somehow is? LOL I guess he should have been more careful before he got pulled over for DUI.

I can't imagine how Ken even walks unless Wall has a glass belly button. Impartial investigation, my A--! Cover-up is more like it. And Bustos, Wall's very good friend will get the 'results'. Just how stupid do these idiots think we all are?

If Romeo drops the DUI she might as well announce to the public what a 'Good, upstanding guy Wall is.' Corruption is alive and thriving in Routt County.

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Benny 6 years, 11 months ago

I guess they should give Wall an office with the Commissioners so he doesn't have to drive to see them. They should also make his girlfriend an employee so that she can drive him anywhere else he needs to go.

I guess everything I say is "heresay' however I did HEAR that he was being shuttled by an employee. I agree with Watcher. I too smell a cover-up.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 11 months ago

Wow! All this sounds like a "good ole boy" network at the RCSO. I thought the "good ole boys" weren't voted in?

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CoJustice 6 years, 11 months ago

I am a little confused by Mr. Klingers statements; "Klinger also dismissed the potential concern that Sheriff's Office resources are being used to address the situation," I can think of many financial (man hour) resources on this situation". Attorney fees for consultation, Internal Investigation hours, out of office hours, interviews and reviews, vehicle liability costs, hearings, depositions, witness statements, interviews, etc, etc.

All of this isn't taking place by magic or volunteer hours. If this is a sample of the investigation, the report should have quite a twist to it.

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CoJustice 6 years, 11 months ago

I hope Mr.Klinger is aware that his report is not as protected as he may have been lead to believe. Internal investigation reports are not sheltered if Court Ordered. Particularly if an investigation into funding abuse presents itself by-the-people to the Commissioners, by way of the Attorney General.

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tmac62 6 years, 11 months ago

steamboat/oakcreek brokeback now thats a movie

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Benny 6 years, 11 months ago

CoJustice: You are absolutley right that those records can be subject to subpoena. Hopefully those records are not destroyed by the sheriff before they are requested by the court. This is why this whole thing has been a conflict of interest from the beginning. Internal Affairs Investigations can not be done without bias when the subject of the investigation is the big boss. The Sheriff has control of all the Internal Affair's files. Case reports go missing all the time. What happens when this report goes missing?

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tmac62 6 years, 11 months ago

wall needs to go i have seen him doing work before and its not good

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merkinwsp 6 years, 11 months ago

Speechless-simply hideous!

What an excellent article that makes everything....oh, no wait.... NOTHING clear as to his means of transportation.

I'm sure his means of transportation consists of the 1000's newfound supporters of Wall, donating many hours of their free time to cart him around.

What a joke!

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