Jenny Wall reacts while walking with her husband, Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall, on Wednesday after a jury found Gary Wall guilty of driving while ability impaired. Also pictured is Ron Smith, who led the Walls out of the Routt County Justice Center after the court decision.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Jenny Wall reacts while walking with her husband, Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall, on Wednesday after a jury found Gary Wall guilty of driving while ability impaired. Also pictured is Ron Smith, who led the Walls out of the Routt County Justice Center after the court decision.

Wall found guilty of DWAI

Sheriff avoids DUI conviction, is found guilty of two related charges

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Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall and his wife, Jenny Wall, exit a Routt County Justice Center courthouse Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of driving while ability impaired.

— Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall was found guilty of driving while ability impaired, failure to dim his headlights and prohibited use of a weapon Wednesday in Routt County Court, where a six-member jury rendered its verdict after a three-day trial.

DWAI is a lesser charge than driving under the influence of alcohol, a charge Wall faced after an incident Oct. 27, 2007, when a Colorado State Patrol trooper pulled Wall over at U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road for failure to dim his headlights. The sheriff was subsequently charged with that traffic violation, the weapons violation and suspicion of DUI. It is against the law to be in possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

For the DWAI conviction, Wall faces maximum penalties of up to 180 days imprisonment, a fine of up to $500 and as many as 48 hours of community service, according to state law.

Had Wall been convicted of DUI, he would have faced a one-year suspension of his driver's license - on top of the yearlong revocation he received for refusing any tests of his blood alcohol level that night. He also would have faced penalties of up to a year imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 and as many as 96 hours of community service.

About halfway through its 3 1/2-hour deliberations Wednesday, the jury requested clarification from Senior Judge Cecil Wayne Williams about the differences between DUI and DWAI.

The DWAI and failure to dim headlights convictions are traffic misdemeanors. Failure to dim carries a maximum fine of up to $100. The prohibited use of a weapon conviction is a Class 2 misdemeanor and carries maximum penalties of 18 months imprisonment, $5,000, or both.

A hearing to determine Wall's penalties has not been set. Williams said he wants Wall to complete an alcohol evaluation before that hearing.

Asked whether he would appeal or take any other action in the wake of Wednesday's verdict, Wall said "I'm going to have some things to say" and "I have some issues that we're going to address."

He said he is not considering resignation.

"Absolutely not. There's no chance of that happening," Wall said. "As a matter of fact, the chances are, if my health is good, I'm going to run for re-election to continue what I've accomplished."

Wall was elected to a four-year term in November 2006.

Days after the traffic stop in October 2007, a state official said Wall's citations would not hinder the sheriff's peace officer certification, which then was pending.

John Kammerzell, director of the state's Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, said only felonies and a few select misdemeanors can jeopardize an officer's POST certification. Wall cannot be removed from office except through a recall election.

After Wednesday's verdict, delivered shortly after 6 p.m., Wall embraced his wife, Jenny, and the two solemnly left the courtroom with Wall's lawyer, Ron Smith. Gary and Jenny Wall testified Wednesday. The trial began Monday.

Routt County Sheriff's Office Deputy Lance Eldridge, who on Tuesday delivered some of the most damaging testimony against Wall, resigned from the Sheriff's Office at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Eldridge drove the Walls home after the traffic stop. He testified that Wall appeared to be drunk that night and, based on his observations of the sheriff, said he would have arrested Wall for DUI.

While on the witness stand, Wall recounted the evening, said he drank only one glass of red wine and conveyed his belief that there was a "bounty on his head" and a calculated effort to frame him for DUI.

"I knew that I was a target," said Wall, adding that many people have warned him of such an effort, even before he was elected to office. "It was common knowledge among my officers that I needed to be careful. : My officers told me, 'Gary, you better be careful.'"

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210 or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

constant1 6 years, 5 months ago

most of you above belong on JERRY SPRINGER! what a bunch of whining mental midgets. we should set up a boxing ring @ the rodeo grounds and sell tickets to watch you "TRY" to beat the crap out of each other! i mean reeeeeeeeeely....................

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Watcher 6 years, 5 months ago

More food for thought. Who is going to pay the increased premiums for him when he does start driving a county car again? YOU & I will most likely get stuck with paying it.

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shadow 6 years, 5 months ago

Wall said he wouldn't resign, he wants to continue what he's accomplished. What's he referring to?

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five_o 6 years, 5 months ago

"Run for re-election"....he must have been drinking!!

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bluegrassguy 6 years, 5 months ago

Hey Stormpeak, this redneck wants to point out to you that if you are going to belittle a group of people for being rednecks, you may want to use proper grammer. What you used was a huge run on sentence. Funny, that you would take the time to read something that was venemous. Oh, by the way, have you really looked around in Craig? Well, at least they have a sheriff who appears to be against drunk driving, for keeping drugs out of the community, and willing to obey the laws he is sworn to enforce.

RCSO employees, keep on doing what you were sworn to do, protect and serve the great citizens of this county. You can do this in spite of the inept, corrupt, sheriff. I guess when his ego finally allows him to resign, he will now have more experience in the area of being an expert witness for the defense, which is where he belongs.

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sickofitall 6 years, 5 months ago

lol, who ever heard of being pulled over because of not dimming their lights? This is a first for me.

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grannyrett 6 years, 5 months ago

I got pulled over for not dimming years ago in Delta, Co. It happens. Good luck guys. With a sheriff like Wall, you're going to need it.

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StbtReader 6 years, 5 months ago

I've been pulled over twice for not dimming my headlights or dimming them too late. Though....not drunk.

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

gonenglad: That's interesting, but not surprising at all. Knowing the arrogant ass that Gary is, I'm not surprised he wrote that at all. You'd think a good employer would try and figure out what was going wrong when employees start leaving like that...

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tedwhetherby 6 years, 5 months ago

Hadleyburg, Until it is illegal to have even a trace of alcohol and get behind the wheel, there is a gray area. It is in and for this gray area where trials exist. To, before a trial or be on a stand and claim quilt for Driving while impaired or intoxicated and yet not be, is a different form of lying and would also betray trust in the legal system. In this gray area of what is less than the .05%-.08% and beyond which is by definition legal or not is where any person Sheriff or other ought defend themselves if they havn't crossed the limit. Otherwise, Wall or any other, conceeds to a blind following social morality and may or may not be subject to an individual or group that can utilize laws for varied agendas or human manipulations or simple error. -Be it income for a town, personal, difference of opinions, misunderstandings, etc.
You may be clinging to thimbled version of morality, right and wrongness, without understanding that you act as an acting sheriff of your own version of morality. You defend yourself, just as Wall does when, in trusting his own gut, as it told him something is off kilter and opted to listen to it versus, acquiessing to a situation that he felt was "off." and was only going to be moreso by continuing to conceed when false accounts seemed to already be occuring. No officer would last long without trusting that gut in tense situations and any person who doesn't listen to that in order to make a descision, (in retrospect or not) isn't worthy of the trust of others anyhow.
Utilizing fear to support your version of morality ("Wall putting innocent people at risk") would put you right against the moral rights of every citizen or restaurant owner who defends the responsible legal right to have a glass of wine and responsibly and legally driving home. Not that I do it, but your thimbled version of morality, leads you down the path of direct adversarialism with other upstanding citizens. Using fear and false-idealism toward authority figures like a sheriff to support your morality, is immature. I don't think anyone ought drink and drive at all, but that is not what is illegal. Then we are talking about grays and in those grays are the potential for human motives and agendas and in order to keep things in check and balance there is a chance at being heard in court, and money or time spent is not about Wall it is about the inherent right each person from president to child, at justice not only the Hadleyburg version of justice, or a towns but oneself as not individual from the circumstances surrounding an action or descision. Interconnectedness is a proven factor whether you notice it is there or not. Let us give you a badge and deputize you as sheriff of what is moral and upright. Sheriff Hadleyburg, thought processes as yours have put (as you would say "innocent") generations and populations at risk of the horrendious autrocity of perpetuating small mindedness though imposed moral code.

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kbergeth 6 years, 5 months ago

The officers told Wall 'Gary, you better be careful'. I wonder if they meant 'don't break the law you nimrod, you're the SHERIFF now!!!'

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JazzSlave 6 years, 5 months ago

sickofitall:

Happens all the time, because it can be an indication the vehichle has been stolen. When car thieves break into the steering column to start the car, the headlights are often locked into the bright position.

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 5 months ago

He said he is not considering resignation.

"Absolutely not. There's no chance of that happening," Wall said. "As a matter of fact, the chances are, if my health is good, I'm going to run for re-election to continue what I've accomplished."

And the soap opera continues...............

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

Walls comments "I'm going to run for re-election to continue what I've accomplished."

Taxpayers are going to be very pleased to continue to pay for your accomplishments.

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

kbergeth - You are right on...and why do employees have to tell the Sheriff to do the right thing to start with.

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otis 6 years, 5 months ago

I can't wait for Wall to run for reelection. It will be a landslide (in the opposite direction). Maybe he has slowed down the drinking and started smoking the wacky stuff. Does he really think the ordinary Routt County citizen thinks he's anything but a wacko? Give me a break.

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five_o 6 years, 5 months ago

If never heard of a Sheriff carrying a squirt gun in his peddle car. Does that qualify for "going green?"

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Shawna 6 years, 5 months ago

If he only had a glass of wine and knew people were trying to frame him, why didn't he volunteer for a blood test instead of refusing? That just screams guilty to me.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

sickofitall- I, too, have been pulled over for not dimming my lights. I also have a DWAI back from 1991, and when I went thru alcohol classes, not dimming your lights is one of the factors (such as weaving, lights not on at all) that are cause for DUI suspicion.

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

five-o: I sent you a message thru this site. I have never done that before, but I think you get it thru the email that you registered with. :)

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digit1964 6 years, 5 months ago

This has got to be blamed on the City Counsel...............

Lets get off your A** and do something about this guys...

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

digit1964- Maybe City Council should take Gary's "alcohol license" away from him, along with his driver's licence.

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scotts_run 6 years, 5 months ago

Keep your head up Gary! This has been a witch-hunt from the beginning. My family, self and neighbor's will continue to support you in North Routt!!

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flotilla 6 years, 5 months ago

Nothing better than a drunk who lies about being drunk. Wall for Mayor!

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424now 6 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Wall appears to believe that he has done nothing all that wrong.

WOW!

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five_o 6 years, 5 months ago

maybe Gary "DWAI" Wall should offer an opology to his troops for putting them in such a crappy position. Even according to him, his own staff warned him to be careful. Maybe he should have listened. What a nimrod.

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Tom3 6 years, 5 months ago

Another crooked cop. And they are ALL crooked.

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justathought 6 years, 5 months ago

Alcoholics never recover until they admit they have a problem, they can even lie to themselves convincingly, Wall is still in denial, for this the citizens of Routt lose.

Wall said "I'M GOING to have some things to say" and "I HAVE some issues that we're going to address." [considering resignation] "ABSOLUTELY NOT. There's NO CHANCE of that happening, the chances are, I'M GOING TO RUN for re-election to continue what I'VE ACCOMPLISHED."

AT LEAST HIS EGO WASN'T DAMAGED! Wall promised change and he delivered! Can he be egotistical enough to think the people of Routt will put up with this type of crap from their sheriff and reelect him? (At least I hope the people ARE smarter than that.)

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Dukebets 6 years, 5 months ago

Wow, props to the justice system on being a total joke. Now they have the power to decide exactly how drunk someone was 6 months ago with no evidence. If I'm not mistaken a DWAI is a BAC of .05 or above, but below .08 where a DUI is automatic.

Wall should have received a DUI or charges should have been dropped.

I could care less about Wall, but it seems as if he got railroaded.

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Tommie 6 years, 5 months ago

North Routt what are you thinking......You want a drunk running around on a sled in the winter? It's you or a family member that could be killed. For cryin out loud, have you been listening!!!!!

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scotts_run 6 years, 5 months ago

Tommie, I have been listening. Wall was not drunk and not convicted of a DUI.

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Dukebets 6 years, 5 months ago

Tommie and justathought - I hope no one ever catches you have even a single glass of wine. You would then be considered a raging alcoholic and drunk.

Rightfully so, for your comments.

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dave mcirvin 6 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations Routt Co, the majority of the drooling participants of this venemous blog best explains why the residents of Moffat Co are relieved that indeed the majority of the residents of this county are deserved of the title Red Neck County, Colorado...

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

9 News posting with 51 comments. http://www.9news.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=95927&catid=346#comments

mbapache64 wrote: He should do the right thing and resign. A bit hypocritical for him to retain office and what must all of his deputies think? How can they be held to a higher standard under the direction of this man? None of this makes him a bad man, just unfit for Shefiff. Sheriff Wall, do the right thing and resign, for you, the county, your deputies and the most honorable profession there is.

7/17/2008 10:10 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse

johninco wrote: Samma, what would you like to see done... should we execute all known alcoholics, drunk or sober? Diagnosing alcoholism in someone with one DWAI might possibly be a bit of a reach. I might add that, unlike homies, we don't fire hundreds of rounds randomly in heavily-populated areas trying to defend the bars and liquor stores in our 'hood from rival alcoholic gangs. At least I've never heard of it in 28 years of AA meetings.

7/17/2008 10:01 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse

7/17/2008 9:54 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse

CoCooColorado wrote: damn id party with this dude 7/17/2008 9:30 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse

SAMMA wrote: ^yesterday^ forgot a word, lol 7/17/2008 9:20 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse
GlassHalfFull wrote:

SAMMA wrote: ok, this man can put other peoples lives at risk while in a position of power, with maybe a night in jail. but libary book dude gets ten years. no no no. i am so sick of dui's. let the gangsters od on crack and meth. let them kill themselves. but damn, why cant we get these drunk drivers under control? law enforcement, please...please work to get these guys off our streets. alcoholics have hurt so many people. ruined so many lives. more then any gangster. homies hurt strangers, yes. are terrible yes. but these people hurt the ones they love. they hurt the ones who love them, care for them, and its just not right. please, officers. make these guys pay. there is no excuse for that man to NOT have jail time. 7/17/2008 9:08 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse

zi33yy wrote: Bad Cop. No Doughnut. It's still funny. 7/17/2008 9:06 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse

johninco wrote: Back on topic, since I need to run for a bit... I don't think DUI's should go on the anthill until their third conviction. 7/17/2008 8:59 AM PDT on 9news.com Recommend Report Abuse

1 2 3 4 5 6 >> Last

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flotilla 6 years, 5 months ago

Uh, dukebets, Wall has been a public display of drunkeness since he moved here.

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justathought 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry Duke, hit a nerve did we? Hopefully you aren't also in denial. There are actually times when peoples observations reach farther than one incident, one news article, or the alleged ONE glass of wine and our comments will reflect our observations. However, they are just OUR observations. For YOUR loyalty to YOUR sheriff (a drunk or not), I wish you no ill will.

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Dukebets 6 years, 5 months ago

justathought - I don't even know the sheriff. I'm just stating observations made from your comments. Drunk, alcoholic, denial...............Your comments are biased and absurd! Go preach on a different forum.

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rfj0401 6 years, 5 months ago

His employees warned him that "people" where out to get him, or did they warn him to stop driving Drunk because maybe the "Real" Cops would get him?

On the bright side, at least Kevin Nearney didn't serve him his "One" drink at the Pirates Pub.

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tedwhetherby 6 years, 5 months ago

As a citizen and for the most part a silent, distant, removed unknown friend of Sheriff Wall's, I concede to the judgment of the court and jury. Driving under the influence laws were upheld here and we all made an ever important step toward toughness in DUI proceedings and no one who sides with uprightness, safety for all people on the roads or in homes waiting for loved ones to arrive home would argue that this is a good thing. I am grateful that this kind of toughness exists. And this judgment and case is only a sliver of the whole both for the legal system in general and in this man's life, career and character.

Wall's case is partially about a DUI/DWAI and mostly about a message and an up keeping of public image. A man positions himself as sheriff and subjects himself to scrutiny and an attempt to uphold being somewhat a model of uprightness. And fails himself in one fashion and also fails in the eyes of those around him, yet again this is only a sliver of the whole. And I think in order to understand this case and pass judgment, a person or blogger has to understand the deeper intricacies of what is it is to fight injustice of any kind, what doing so subjects oneself to, and what it is to be an entire person, not simply seen through a legal eye. I think most bloggers feel justified on one level that justice is consistent amidst both the sheriff's office and everyday citizens. Yet on a wider scale, truth, depth and understanding have barely begun. Buried under hidden micro laws are subtle and overt abuses that we are so apart of, naive to and accepting of that we would rather go for a quick slaying, until these abuses eventually bubble up and out, and are courageously regarded and dealt with by the good people of Steamboat. (cont)

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tedwhetherby 6 years, 5 months ago

(cont) We could hang Sheriff Wall this Saturday in the Park, throw tomatoes at him, chuckle at his character and those near to him, turn and wake up Sunday and yet watch it crop right up again in front of us with a new face. A prevalence of using fear of safety to enforce and systemically or personally benefit on state or federal laws, may resolve one case and have us feel upright. And it may attend to one issue of control or management of city streets but has splintered or created 5 more problems that bury and embed themselves under the surface. These deeper issues will only fester and skunk the underpinnings of a town with or without Wall as Sheriff. But most people don't even consider these things. We fall for an easy lynching as people have for thousands of years. But if we earnestly take the time to understand the nuances of the case, really explore what Sheriff Wall has fought for with his position and past positions for voiced and under voiced individuals in town, take an earnest look at what issues of abuses of power and intimidation within positions of power that he has tried to address and erradicate from town that may evoke real resistance and dissention, really look at the depth in which he has tried to serve and address deeper issues in a town that has barely developmentally begun to be a soulful, heart fully flourishing community. In doing so, I think we will begin to understand what we are all amidst legally and personally and communally, beyond a man, a glass of wine and undimmed headlights. To do this is to serve a community wholly and not only pick up pickets behind community drunk driving safety. This issue though always in need of advocacy, is only a sliver of what is cooking here. Check into open records of his decisions, and the players surrounding them, his motions in court, request that his beefs within the force be made obvious, with what tactics, look into what he is saying, potential abuses of power, check because what he fights and has fought for will continue to affect the town and the moral far beyond his sheriffdom. To do this is to really personally check into all matters within our systems as a well informed citizen, not simply lob opinions.

A legal judgment is a vital part of the whole, but us regarding it in isolation is as atrocious as driving amidst our society while intoxicated. And Wall may have been found guilty of being impaired that evening but our breath and blood are surely impaired with what deeper inequities and half-bargains we live with each and every day as supposed ordinary unquestioning upright law abiding citizens. And no one may ever find out about us.

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spouch 6 years, 5 months ago

Are sheriff deputies still giving free rides home to drunk drivers? Or is that just for sheriffs and comissioners?

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uporpeopleu 6 years, 5 months ago

with a couple of above exceptions - u people better hope the old saying "u will reap what u sow" is not true, or u're futures will be as bleak as u're not-so perfect souls.

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flusteredal 6 years, 5 months ago

I sure wish Garrett Wiggins had been elected! Sheriff Wall has become the laughing stock of our town!

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 5 months ago

uporpe, I agree with you that I (should) "reap what I sow" if I were to ever drive while alcohol impaired...

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uporpeopleu 6 years, 5 months ago

don't get me wrong - the reasonable / non-judgemental u's up there will reap what they sow as well....theirs will simply be a far better harvest. hadleyburg- i wish i were so perfect

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

U- since "u" say "u's up there..." it sounds like "u" don't live with this sheriff in "u'r" town. We do, "u"nfortunately.

flusteredal- too bad Wiggins wasn't the arresting officer! LOL!! Actually, it's probably a good thing, since he MUST be part of the conspiracy!!

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uporpeopleu 6 years, 5 months ago

i was referring to the "u's" who have written on this thread that don't smack of know-it-all finger pointin'

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steamboatyahoo 6 years, 5 months ago

aren't we all targets of drunk driving prosecution? The State of Colorado even has an entire campaign promoting that idea. "The HEAT IS ON."

So I don't feel sorry for Sheriff Gary Wall at all. In fact I wish I could be a fly on the wall during those "alcohol counselling" courses required for everyone convicted for D.W.A.I. Maybe the Pilot can send an undercover reporter.

I wonder where he's going to do his community service? Orange safety vest picking up trash?

What fun it is following the news in Steamboat Springs.

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424now 6 years, 5 months ago

upo,

Most of us expect our leaders to lead by example.

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flusteredal 6 years, 5 months ago

And we would respect those leaders.... it's just that Wall thinks he's above those standards!

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 5 months ago

sorry upore, but I can't condone any form of drunk driving. No, I am far from perfect and yes we are all human and make mistakes. Ever hear of the concept of contrition? I can forgive a man who accepts his mistakes and his violation of the public trust. Has Wall done this in your opinion or do you merely consider him a victim of some sort? Do you think that he will likely reoffend if he refuses to embrace the possibility that his actions have an impact on others? What if he kills somebody next time? Or again, do you think he is the victim here?

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

Well said Hadley. We are all human and, yes, we all make mistakes....it is how we handle those mistakes that make us who we are.

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southrouttmom 6 years, 5 months ago

I usually don't read these posts as they tend to make me angry...today is another case of that! First of all Tom_3: I am the wife of a cop and I take it highly personally that you would be ignorant enough to make a blanket statement that all cops are crooked! On the contrary, most of the cops that I have come to know are fine and wonderful people. They are, however, human and are therefore capable of making mistakes just like the rest of us. Fortunately, most of them are aware of this and they take care and consideration to make good choices.

In my opinion the bottom line in this entire fiasco is that Mr. Wall made a poor choice and he needs to take responsibility and face his consequences. Every choice that we make has a consequence. Some are postive, some are negative, but all consequences just the same.

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twostroketerror 6 years, 5 months ago

" If only Wiggins had been elected!" Sigh, it's true. Then Wall couldn't have embarrassed the city, Nearney couldn't have destroyed that poor, innocent, girls life, Lanning and the City Council would be open and honest, and the Elk would have never breached it's banks. We'd even have affordable housing in Old Town. I hear Hayden is close to Total Enlightenment....

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424now 6 years, 5 months ago

Benny,

GOG ?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:*:IE-Address&rlz=1I7GGLR&defl=en&q=define:Gog&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

Get Out Gary, something us bloggers where posting when Gary was first in the news about all this.

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 5 months ago

"people are out to get him" This may be true. Just think about how easy it would be to "narc" on people in this town for DUI.

A little quality neighborhood watch.

Call the police if you see someone have 2 drinks and go to their car. 2 drinks should be enough to "suspect" they'll blow a 0.8

At the very least, they will be required to take a sobriety test, a breathalizer, and possibly the blood test. And refusal is as good as admitting guilt. right?

In this town, a simple accusation counts as evidence, so no real evidence is needed for a conviction, as this "trial" proved.

If they really want to be tough on DUI, ACET should park a police officer(under cover) at every bar, and document people's alcohol consumption, and if the individual decides to put their keys in the ignition, bust them right in the parking lot.

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

This is a fabulous idea!! Should we put this into effect before or after Gary is recalled?

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drumski 6 years, 5 months ago

He got rid of GRAMNET so he will always have my vote! Oh yeah, I don't even do drugs for all you people that will immediately accuse me of being a pothead......

RIP GRAMNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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bkellogg 6 years, 5 months ago

Well, until one has been on the inside of watching how a trial is put together, how much of the facts are not permitted and seen how a jury compromises by coming to the middle, we should question the ability of any of us to make any judgement beyond that of the jury.

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five_o 6 years, 5 months ago

Gee, I wonder why he got rid of GRAMNET?? HMMMMMMM...

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

What other funding programs or employees will be eliminated to cover the cost of extra insurance on County Vehicles, or are the County Commissioners just going to pay the bill and not take it out of the Sheriff's budget?

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

I think the Commissioners owe the taxpayers some accountability on this one. Public money, public accountability.

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five_o 6 years, 5 months ago

Do you think paper shredders would be smokin!!!!

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steamboatsconscience 6 years, 5 months ago

5-zero because it was a waste of money spend 50 grand to get $400 worth of drugs

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

Five-o: I'm picking up what you're putting down. Hmm?

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sickofitall 6 years, 5 months ago

I've heard of it now :) The government is just on a campaign against alcohol. Having a cell phone conversation has been proven to be more dangerous and "stupid" drivers do not get the same penalties. If it is an "accident" it is OK, if it is drunk driving, well thats the book. I see careless negligent drivers all the time but hey they ain't drunk.

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

Are you serious? Having a cell phone conversation while driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving? Since when? Anyway, in most cities you can't use your cell phone and drive, either.

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waterguy 6 years, 5 months ago

Am I missing something here? Why did Eldridge have to resign? That may be the real tragedy here.

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five_o 6 years, 5 months ago

I've never heard of a cell phone addiction leading to harder electronics. Drinking and driving is against the law. We, as supposed ADULTS, are supposed to be leading by example. You drink and get behind the wheel you take your chances...IF you don't kill my kid first!

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five_o 6 years, 5 months ago

benny, you helped me out a few years back, before you moved. you changed your digits and now i cant reach you. WTF.

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bandmama 6 years, 5 months ago

I am livid that Gary got the amount of attention that he did, I was part of that, and realize that I should have refrained from comments made on earlier posts... BUT... I can honestly say with a clean conscience that this man was in the wrong!!!!! He was a publc official elected to withhold and enforce the law and he made a complete mockery of DRUNK DRIVING. How wrong. I know Lance, and while I dont always agree with his views, I have never found him to be anything but honest and true in his opinions. To put someone with these values in the spot that he feels the need to resign from a position that would have had a benefit to this community is a JOKE. Look at the daily record, Even Pilot style, and the amount of recorded crimes since good old Gary had taken office, hasn't any other local resident noticed the longer page space???? Gary still says he has somthing to say, who wants to bet that it has nothing to do with " I made a poor choice and messed up"? Run again????? Yeah like I or any rational registed voter wants this kind of official for another term?????? I have had nothing but professionalism, and integrity when dealing with local law enforcement, and to put this farce of an official in the front lines is nothing more than intimadation and politics. To even consider that CHP wold sink so low as to "frame" someone of so little signifigance is absurd. Lance, the "Food Geek" and I are so thankful that you are the kind of person that you are, where ever you go, our thougts are with you and your wife, and we are so sorry that you were put into this position by such a little man, but I suppose after RETIRING from the "intelligence",( that being a key word)... I think you will over come. To the public, lets be real. bandmama has spoken and will try to refrain from from making other comments on this issue.......unless stupidity makes me feel the obligation to do so.

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gonenglad 6 years, 5 months ago

to all the GOOD employees of the sheriff's office...this is just a reminder of the comment made in a department wide email from "Sheriff" Wall dated 05/23/07 in response to two good employees resigning because of the liability that Sheriff Wall was bringing to the department, the County, the employees and the inmates of the Routt County Jail.....his only response after losing a long time employee was " thought you might like to see the type of person who was working here"....as a reminder to YOU all....thought you might like to see the type of person who is working there now - Sheriff!!

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Christina McLean 6 years, 5 months ago

Tedwheth I couldn't agree with you more. The opinions on this blog (which I sincerely are not a microcosm of Routt County) are so hung up on the "letter of the law" and regurgitating the same surface facts. For clarity: I do not condone drinking and driving and anyone caught doing so should be willing to take the consequences. But let's look at the consequences - are they simply black and white per "the law" as some would have us believe? Is justice synonymous with the law and the enforcement of it? There are greater, far-reaching philosophical questions below the surface of "He broke the law, was tried, convicted, ergo, throw him in jail." Do all doctors, who are required to take the Hippocratic Oath, forgo euthanasia when they feel its a humane alternative to the prolonged suffering of a loved one or patient that has asked to move on? Don't get me wrong. Gary Wall screwed up. Either he was legally drunk or off guard and got himself in a position he was worried and warned about knowing full well the Wiggins blowback machine was alive and well. I support and respect and leader who is someone more than a badge, and certifications. I don't believe in drinking and driving, yet I also don't believe a badge, a set of laws and a court room equate with justice. I dare any one of you bloggers to acknowledge that every interface that you, a family member or friend has had with the law as the victim or otherwise has had a 100% outcome where justice prevailed. This particular Gary Wall situation is not a good metaphor in which to compare his approach to law enforcement and justice and broached by Tedwheth because as I said earlier, he screwed up. But I do see Ted's larger picture and it's not a simple one. And, Hadleyburg Press, re: your bombastic blather - cool - your'e what makes the world such an interesting place to be a part of.

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 5 months ago

unob, Are you really comparing Wall's decision to drink and drive to a doctor's moral/legal battle with upholding their oath to do no harm and helping someone to die with dignity? That's fascinating analogical logic.

I think what you are trying to say is that we judge the man no more harshly then we would any other citizen and also take into account all of the good deeds he has done. I tend to agree with you to a certain extent, but also weigh the fact that he is the Sheriff. He has a higher responsiblity than most. He has been granted the public trust at a much higher level then we grant to just about anyone else. We grant him the right to kill people if deemed neeeded. Having said that, I can still forgive the Man if he seeks forgiveness and help, but I cannot forgive the Sheriff. He knowingly and willfully put innocent people at risk when he chose to drink and drive. He has betrayed the trust we bestowed upon him.

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justathought 6 years, 5 months ago

Well said Hadley and it also made a big difference that he was in his official capacity with gun and county car. I don't want him treated more harshly, I want him to get what any other person with the same charges would get, no more, no less. His ego will never allow him to admit wrong or apologize for anything other than getting caught. He has no business holding a law enforcement position, let alone the sheriffs office.

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Aspengold 6 years, 5 months ago

Bluegrass guy (and I do love bluegrass)...if you're going to complain about grammar, you should first learn to spell it correctly (and also venomous).

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osiyo 6 years, 5 months ago

Incredibly pathetic. Outstanding bombastic rhetoric!

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 5 months ago

Wall could have defended himself by demanding a witnessed blood test.

Morality has nothing to do with it friend. Its a law based on studies showing physical impairment. He was convicted of violating the people's law. If you don't like the law, feel free to stump for a change. If you don't like the way our jury system is set up, work for change.

If he is innocent, then I hope he appeals and wins. If he can't prove his innocence in the future then he will have to live with the fact that he made a terrible decision not to cooperate when he was given a chance.

End of story.

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tedwhetherby 6 years, 5 months ago

And what would that demand (had it even been granted) have implied about the in groups of the different police forces during the very incident. One police officer openly and continuing to mistrusting the tests of another to the point of external witnesses. Maybe Wall tried to originally underplay or keep some sense of quiet and confidence in tact for all parties. despite it back firing.

Morality is defined as "The ability to distinguish good and evil or right and wrong, right or good conduct;" This is exactly how you view things. Someone is right, another wrong. Someone good, another done bad. Though if actions were not indistinguishable from facts, we would not have lawyers or juries, we would simply have law and judges.
The case is done. But your view of a finite morality as law is what lives on, sheriff Hadleyburg.

You champion an idealic systematic approach with an idealic man in an system from your arm chair, in which you have to deal with only the politics of yourself and who may need to use your computer next. You have the luxury of contemplation and objectivity and further judge as sheriff of your armchair what in an ideal world ought to have occurred if a man really was innocent. It is the grand luxury of a blogger, who has no pressure but our own love of words as images to upkeep a reputation in association with our good name.
Your sense of a finite morality has no breadth or scope when it comes to public office and public image. Sure the fellow got at one level or another what was coming to him, but to regard it in your view of good sheriff, bad sheriff, ideal actions, poor action is immature. Just as I am immature to judge you in this moment of time as being one way of another when if I looked back through your tomes on this websight your views may completely contradict what stance you take toward morality.

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Hadleyburg_Press 6 years, 5 months ago

9 reasonable people, other than me, judged him. He even got to select those 9.

I am now done with you and your prose.

Have a great and safe weekend and please keep your version of morality at a level where it doesn't impact me or my family's well being and I will do the same for you and yours.

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Christina McLean 6 years, 5 months ago

Hadley, Yes, you got most of the point. Boiled down what I meant is that once a doctor takes an oath it is to now and forward on save lives. Yet, along the way, that definition for many can become redefined by a certain sense of humanity. So, Wall's Saturday night soiree aside, maybe the war on drugs isn't about throwing thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars at a program to net one meth lab so you get front page coverage on your local newspaper and look like the good guy to the community. Or tailgating the teenager at midnight on a Friday night to let him or her know you know they had better be sober. You say that we grant the Sheriff the right to kill people if deemed necessary. Well, you Hadleyburg, have that same right - self-defense with a registered firearm. I hold you to the same high standards. You can even walk around town with it if you have a permit for a concealed weapon. When you get behind the wheel of a car after attending a party, I hold you with the same high esteem as I do Wall or myself or my neighbor because all of the above, if drinking, are the same bullet loading themselves into the cartridge of a weapon. Should we hold Wall to a higher standard because of his position in a role to influence? I guess I'd have to agree with you on that although I think the real influence comes in the form of personal responsibility, and for children, it comes from the family. But again, I've said I am wary of badges, certifications and courtrooms as the objective interpreters of justice.

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tedwhetherby 6 years, 5 months ago

Honorable Hadleyburg,

You have the luxury of quitting feeling you are self-secure and comfortable in numbers. If you truely felt rightous, you wouldn't fear or need to make requests of me.
We have yet to even begin on the issue of perception with law and morality, when there are variences of interpretation on the very laws and actions in question. While the finding of the court is accepted in this particular case, this is yet just a part of the whole and a necessary end it seems. But also just a cog in a larger wheel. I take you up on your request and also bid you adeau as well as all players in this case. And honorable Hadley, it will not take me. On your own, obviously you will see, exactly the results of your own version of law merging with morality. I enjoyed it. Ted

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Watcher 6 years, 5 months ago

What it has ALL come down to is incredibly BAD judgment! He is after all the top LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER in the county.

First drinking (even one drink) while driving a county owned vehicle, second having guns (3) around, third, refusing to take a blood or breath test (That was totally STUPID if he was not drunk), fourth, not resigning with some shred of decency for the previous 3 reasons, and now for not resigning but saying he will run for re-election.

What ever happened to the "internal investigation"? LOL

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Ms_E_Bronte 6 years, 5 months ago

Good question, Watcher...what DID happen to the "internal investigation"?

His wife (who obviously is bearing the brunt of this whole ordeal -- "it was her smelling of alcohol, not me") is quite a lady to "stand by her man" while he drones on about "people out to get me", "conspiracies," "warnings" from co-workers to "watch my back", etc. How much more is he going to drag this on before he finally accepts responsibility for his own actions? Who is he pointing fingers at when the choice was made not to take the tests in the first place?

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 5 months ago

Ted:

You do realize Sheriff wall could have killed himself, my brother, or your family on his way home that night do you?

You can sugar coat drunk driving anyway you want but an impaired driver is dangerous no matter who they are.

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madmoores 6 years, 5 months ago

Stormpeakco says: "Congratulations Routt Co, the majority of the drooling participants of this venemous blog best explains why the residents of Moffat Co are relieved that indeed the majority of the residents of this county are deserved of the title Red Neck County, Colorado..." Hmmm, how should one, from Moffat County, react to this? I guess, your entitled to your own opinion but you should know that rednecks are everywhere, yes, even in Steamboat. I don't remember being awarded the title "Redneck County Colorado", except by yourself, so your comment is rude and baseless. Your little burg ought to be thanking the residents of Moffat County or your snobby tourists would not have a clean bed to sleep in, heck, they may not have a hotel to sleep in. Not saying that Craig people built your city but hey, remove the 1-2,000 workers from the equation one day and see what happens... As for our sheriff, he is no angel either and it was a rough road to election for him. We can say however that it is not us suffering the embarrassment of electing a sheriff like you all have in Routt. Even though GRAMNET does not exist, in name only, we are happy to have ACET controlling the drunken/drugged people in our community...our sheriff supports this program, as do the citizens of Craig. Sounds like sheriff-wise we have our act together stormpeakco, how bout' you? How are things working out with your sheriff?

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id04sp 6 years, 5 months ago

Madmoores,

I pretty much agree with you. For one thing, there's no shame in working for a living. Steamboat is full of people who are living off money they inherited, and I know a 27-year-old woman with a master's degree who was still getting an allowance from her Daddy, which allowed her to work bartender and waiter jobs to pay for her cocaine and mountain biking hobby. That's nothing for anyone to be proud about. It's a total waste of a beautiful woman taking the easy way out because somebody else is paying her way. It's disgusting.

But ACET? Where's the beef? Looks like they've only made about two arrests this year. Sounds to me like a bunch of guys who'd rather be cops than actually catch traffickers. What about all the white folks with money who also use and traffick? Why doesn't anybody ever catch THEM?

Look for the drug dogs in Routt and Moffat counties. Don't see them? Why not? It's because they might FIND SOMETHING.

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

Id04: Exactly, why is Wall not fighting the war on drugs. I think you should be asking your Sheriff about drug enforcement in Routt County, remember he does not want ACET. Lets see his program?

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fartpark 6 years, 5 months ago

Has anyone ever seen the movie Funny Farm with Chevy Chase? The Sheriff in this movie rides around in a taxi cab because he doesn't have a license. Routt County = Funny Farm!!!! Let's not forget that as a community Mr. Wall can be removed from office if we all come together and start the necessary procedures. Routt County is a laughingstock in the law enforcement community.

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

He doesn't have one. He's actually quoted in this paper saying that he wanted to do more about the war on drugs by education......then he cut DARE.

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 5 months ago

Seems like ACET is doing pretty well, considering the cut in funds. And actually, from the articles, it's about 4 or so busts, totaling about 20ppl. They even had a record year, last year from the articles in the Pilot.

I'd consider that pretty good accomplishments. I'm wondering what Wall meant in his statement about his "accomplishments." The DWAI and Bustos' county vehicle fender-bender out of state are the only things that come to mind. No- there was the one situation that was talked down. I will grant that, at least.

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shadow 6 years, 5 months ago

"Hey Bartender! I'm buying this round, make mine a Gary Wall-banger!"

Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks: circa 1974

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madmoores 6 years, 5 months ago

Id, ACET has made two major busts in the last year and a half with a few others thrown in-between, something is better than nothing. Seems like the meth in Craig has been off the radar for awhile, could go either way with that but it does seem less prevalent. White people are busted as well as anyone else, read the blotter, it is a generous mix of all races and types. Once anyone confronts the weaker upper justice system, they are released or pled down to a lesser charge, does not seem to matter who you are, or where you are from. As far as the drug dogs are concerned, Moffat County Sheriff has one(czar, a black lab) as well as the City Police(Fury, also a black lab), which makes two(1+1=2...for those "rednecks")drug dogs in our county, which are busy everyday...how many does Routt have? The "inbred redneck" stigma this community has lived with from our eastern neighbors has gone on for years, and will continue for years to come, why has always been beyond me. There is alot of good in this town, the recent Relay for Life for example(over $102,000 raised so far)is a good start, we give despite getting paid crappy wages working for unforgiving people only to be called redneck, or inbred as I have heard many times before. When someone is down, we help them up, not arrest them(digging in the garbage for food), if someone dies, we do not mock them, we respect them and show our compassion to the family, we probably know them very well. It is a weird tightness if anything that knits Craig together, something Steamboat(sad to say)is losing...we have our problem children as well, just not to your magnitude. I love your town, your mountains and your outdoors in general, it is what has kept me here for almost 40 years. Craig is so much cheaper to live in and the drive up to the boat' is beautiful, Colorado at it's finest, I enjoy every mile. Bottom line is this, you all elected him, it is up to you all to remove him, this is one of those "put up or shutup" situations. We almost did it with the DA and I believe if circumstances were different, we would have succeded. Get with the program instead of getting your frustrations out by blogging on a reader forum. Start the effort now or live with it another 2 years, your choice. Light the fire...

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Benny 6 years, 5 months ago

I would bet all that I own that a recall petition for Gary Wall would get more than enough signatures to remove him from office. This is different than the attempted recall of the DA, so don't be discouraged by that. There is a guilty conviction and if a jury of his peers all agreed that Gary was in the wrong, then it shouldn't be hard to get a majority of the voters to agree that he should be recalled. It just takes someone who is willing to get the ball rolling. If someone has the intestinal fortitude to start the process, it will happen. Just look at this forum; all the posts written on all the different articles about Gary Wall and 90+% of every poster believes that Gary is guilty and shouldn't be Sheriff. I can't do it or I most definetly would. This can happen people. Somebody GO FOR IT!

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steamboatyahoo 6 years, 5 months ago

4 drug bust this year in Steamboat is not a good record.

seems like it would have been pretty easy to make a drug bust or two at the recent Spearhead concert! Or 20

I had to ask a guy to stop lighting up and passing a joint around about 5 feet away from me and my 6 and 8 year old kids.

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goldendog 6 years, 5 months ago

Gary Wall has been observed drinking and obviously intoxicated and in possession of his firearm on other occasions. So has his under sheriff.

My feeling is that law enforcement and emergency services personal should just not drink in public - period.

But in Gary's defense, he hires good people, gives them the best equipment he can and lets the smart people who work for him do their jobs without micro managing them. He's basically a good guy. Too bad he exercises such poor judgment when it comes to alcohol.

To me the worst outcome here is the loss of Lance Eldridge. Lance didn't compromise his principles, told the truth and sacrificed his career in the process. This is shameful. Gary should resign and Lance should get a promotion.

In the event of a major crisis, there are decisions that only the sheriff can make. Let's hope that if we need him, Gary Wall will be stone sober.

I have no doubt that Gary has lost a great deal confidence from his own deputies as well as all the other agencies that need to depend on him.

Were I Gary, I would wait about two months and then announce my retirement. And I would take my overpaid under sheriff with me.

Finally, my solution? Simple...

Lance Eldridge for Sheriff

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id04sp 6 years, 5 months ago

Madmoores,

Ain't "my" town. Wish I'd gone to Wyoming instead of North Routt in the first place.

Where are the lawyers, business owners, cops, etc., who should have been arrested for using/trafficking. They get arrested everywhere else? Why not around here? Yeah, you already know why.

No drug dogs in Routt is a shame. Don't be surprised if Sheriff Wall's next move is to get one or two of them using his former DARE and GRAMNET money. The thing is, we'd need some outside help from the feds to make the arrests and do the prosecutions because of the positions of some of the perpetrators, or their influential relatives, on the government payroll.

That's right -- I'm saying that government employees have shielded people from arrest and prosecution for possession and trafficking in drugs in Routt County. I spilled my guts to one of Warner's so-called "investigators" one day, naming names and providing evidence of money laundering and official corruption. When I was done, the only words spoken back to me were, "These things are hard to prove." Well, yeah, when you don't investigate them, they are impossible to prove. Have you noticed that ACET at least makes a few arrests? GRAMNET, not so much . . . So isn't it possible that removing RCSO's knowledge of the "task force" operations stopped people from tipping off the traffickers? That's my bet.

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CoJustice 6 years, 5 months ago

Goldendog: You brought up a very good point "In the event of a major crisis, there are decisions that only the sheriff can make. Let's hope that if we need him, Gary Wall will be stone sober".

If called upon after hours could he show up on site sober?

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shadow 6 years, 5 months ago

Please schedule all crisis's before happy hour.

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confused 6 years, 5 months ago

Has anyone heard of a recall being started or has anyone talked to anyone that is interested in taking over Wall's position???

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meethinks 6 years, 4 months ago

odd isn't it, that comments are still being posted about Wall...yet Cargos articles have been removed. things that make you go HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM....

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eastboy 6 years, 3 months ago

Methinks you may have an interesting point there to discuss?

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