Gary Wall, left, and Garrett Wiggins will face off in November's Routt County sheriff race.

Gary Wall, left, and Garrett Wiggins will face off in November's Routt County sheriff race.

Gary Wall, Garrett Wiggins prepare for Routt County rematch

Retention and relationships key in sheriff campaign strategies

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Garrett Wiggins

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Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall

— Garrett Wiggins has faced Gary Wall before. The men ran against each other in the 2006 election for Routt County sheriff, which Wall won. But now, with more history behind each of them and potential issues on both sides, the men are preparing new strategies for the rematch.

Democrat Wall ran on a campaign of constitutional and civil rights, and on the idea that he wanted to reduce turnover in the department. He now says he has largely accomplished his goals by keeping low the number of deputies who have left the department. Wall said he has changed the atmosphere of the department to keep his staff around.

“When I was elected sheriff, I wanted to operate the office in a completely different way,” he said.

Although of the Sheriff’s Office staff of about 50 people, there has been some turnover — about 30, including four this year — Wall said it has been “healthy turnover.” Fourteen of the staff members left during Wall’s first year in office, which he said was a result of the previous administration. And of the four this year, three were fired and one left town, he said.

That’s not enough, said All Crimes Enforcement Team Cmdr. Wiggins, a Republican.

“I want to focus on maintaining a professional and competent sheriff’s department,” he said. “In order to have a competent and professional sheriff’s department, you have to have good quality employees and maintain good quality employees.”

Wiggins said it’s difficult to keep a competent staff when turnover is that high, and he noted that many of the people who left the office are people Wall hired.

Wall points to the fact none of his patrol deputies has left for the Steamboat Springs Police Department, though one jail deputy did, and several officers returned from the Police Department. The Sheriff’s Of­­fice has served as somewhat of a training ground for other agencies in the past, and Wall was trying to stop that trend.

Relationships

Wiggins and Nick Bosick, his challenger in the Republican primary election, pointed to Wall’s relationships with other agencies as something they wanted to change. Wall has publicly clashed with the Routt County Board of Commissioners on several occasions. He objected to the countywide furloughs imposed as a cost-saving measure, requested and was denied winches and portable defibrillators for the department’s SUVs and was chastised for expected budget overruns.

“I think it’s very, very important that there is a good relationship between the county commissioners and the Sheriff’s Office,” Wiggins said. “You have to have that unity to have a well-run, well-established department.”

Wall said those disagreements have been overblown and that although he sometimes disagrees with the commissioners’ decisions, his primary interest is protecting public safety.

He also pointed out that after projections showed he might be spending more than budgeted, he has stayed under budget every year, a statement confirmed by Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan.

“Do I have a difference with them? Yes, I do. But again, it’s not personal; it’s public safety issues,” Wall said.

Some of the figures still are disputed, however, such as the attorney fees Wall accrued as he consulted outside counsel in his dispute with the commissioners about salaries. 

Comments

justice4all 3 years, 11 months ago

And ,once again, why has the UNDERSHERIFF not been named ----or at least brought to the publics, attention. I heard that Wigging was naming Bostic and had Bostic won, he was naming Wiggins. This is a very important issue. WE need to know why the secret?

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babette dickson 3 years, 11 months ago

I'd like to know for sure what is the majority of the staff wish: Wall or Wiggins? It matters almost as much to me to have a happy crew of law enforcement officers than bitter, depressed officers that can lead to abuses because their working conditions and relationship with their boss suck. I have one suggestion for Gary: Work closer with the school district leaders. A couple of buildings are county territory, sit down with them and check their needs and questions.... Communication...communication....communication....

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John Fielding 3 years, 11 months ago

.

While I must agree that a good relationship with the staff is important, it must be achieved on the terms of the Sheriff who We the People elected and is accountable to us.

I know of two instances where the Sheriff or his deputies have made apologies for behaviors others may have supported. One was for my wife who was given a ticket for going about 48 as she approached the 45mph sign coming out of a 30mph zone on 131. The deputy called her and said the ticket was withdrawn by the Sheriff's order, and apologized for a ticket that was technically correct but not reasonable.

In the other, an old country boy who never drinks but drives a little crooked anyway was intimidated by a young deputy approaching at high speed, tailgating, backing off and doing it again, etc. then during the stop was treated rudely, but was given no ticket or even a warning for his driving. He mentioned this to a friend on the force and received a personal call from the Sheriff to apologize and assure him the deputy was disciplined for his actions.

These sort of things will not make you popular with some of your deputies, but they help reinforce the notion that the Sheriff serves the best interest of the People.

.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

With Gary's two campaign promises he seems to be having some difficulty with his turnover rate. What about his other promise to protect the citizens constitutional and civil rights. He has gotten Routt County into two pending law suits. Gary don't forget to leave your fowarding address!

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Matthew Stoddard 3 years, 11 months ago

No, a vote for Nick Bosick is a vote for the person I feel can do the job. I left it blank last time Wiggins ran against Wall. This time, I'm voting my conscience. I vote FOR people; not against those I want to lose. Voting against someone just so one party can win doesn't mean the best person got elected.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

I called the Sheriff's department for help during the previous administration and was told, "it's a civil matter." The "civil matter" was that a private snowplowing contractor operating on a county-owned road piled up snow and ice in front of and behind my vehicle to a depth of almost four feet so that it was impossible to move it.

I was technically wrong for leaving my vehicle in the roadway while waiting for my own driveway plow contractor to arrive and remove over a foot of snow so that I could get into the driveway. On the other hand, what was I supposed to do? I was right there in the house and could easily have moved it if emergency vehicles had need to pass by. The real issue was that a private contractor intentionally created a situation where, if emergency services had needed to get by, it would have been impossible for me to move my vehicle out of the way. This was apparently a "civil matter" because it was not a county plow and so the laws were not enforced on privately maintained county-owned roads.

After Sheriff Wall took over, I had a problem with my neighbors riding snow mobiles through my property and down my driveway while I was not at home. Everybody knew who was doing it. My other neighbors complained because of the noise, etc. The neighbor whose kids were responsible would not answer the telephone when I called them to address the problem. So, I called the RCSO, a deputy took my complaint, asked me what I wanted him to do, and I asked him if he could call the neighbor and inform them they were trespassing by riding through my yard. The deputy did so, the problem was solved, and the neighbor called me back so we could settle the matter without getting lawyers involved. It was a happy ending for everybody, and that's the thing Sheriff Wall has done for us. His deputies help to solve problems when someone is breaking the law without the need to haul someone to jail or hire a lawyer and sue somebody over a trivial matter that a warning from a deputy can solve once and for all with one telephone call. Also, the laws are now enforced by RCSO on our privately maintained county-owned roads.

Who ever heard of a sheriff calling a citizen to apologize for the overzealous actions of a Barney Pfyffe deputy? Apparently Sheriff Wall has done it several times. That's better than gold to a person who WANTS to respect the law and cooperate with law enforcement. Also, a sheriff who wanted to put winches on vehicles to help stranded motorists, and put automatic defib devices in patrol vehicles JUST BECAUSE IT MIGHT SAVE A LIFE WHILE WAITING FOR AN AMBULANCE TO ARRIVE ought to get tons of credit for asking the county commissioners do something good for the citizens.

(cont)

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trump_suit 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't often say this, but I agree completely with Aich's comment above. Since Sheriff Wall was elected we have seen an increase in North Routt patrols and responsiveness.

I also had the previous administration tell me that "That is a civil matter, we cannot be involved" When I experienced the same sort of issues last year, the Sheriff's office responded, discussed the situation with all parties, and the problem went away. No legal action or lawyers were required, only a reminder from the Deputy that this kind of behavior could become a serious problem for that individual.

Although Gary Wall's personal behavior has been suspect, my experience as a citizen has been quite positive with the Department he has run.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

Best of all was the time in the previous administration when someone left a threatening message on my answering machine. I took the tape to RCSO, and the person who left the threat was summoned to court. Unfortunately, the RCSO failed to send the paperwork to the court, so the case was dismissed. When I asked the former undersheriff "what am I supposed to do now?" he advised me to carry a pistol for protection. The former sheriff never agreed to see me or talk to me.

I also once hand-carried evidence of money laundering and drug trafficking down to RCSO under the previous sheriff and was allowed to see an "investigator." There was no interest at all in pursuing the case. I was told, "These kinds of cases are very hard to prove." Well, yeah, when you don't actually leave the office and investigate a crime, you can't prove anything, can you?

If you've had no need for them, and no business with RCSO, then you have no basis for comparison.

As someone who had way too much exposure to the old RCSO before Sheriff Wall, and found no help from them at all even when a crime of violence (felony menacing) had been committed, I see no reason to take a chance on things going back to the way they were before.

Sheriff Wall's term in office has been controversial, but no more so than ACET's problems with felonious actions by some of the few officers assigned to it. Routt County is a better and more peaceful place to live under the current RCSO than in the years before Wall was elected.

It's not broken. Don't fix it.

Garrett Wiggins is a good law enforcement officer. That doesn't mean he would be a good sheriff. It's about more than arresting brown-skinned drug traffickers. Leave them both where they're already doing a good job.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

Trump,

You may be my next-door neighbor? Wouldn't that be a hoot?

I just can't figure out if you're a "Heart" or a "Spade." ;-)

I don't care if you use pot, neighbor. It doesn't seem to have hurt your ability to reason!

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 11 months ago

Aich:

I agree with everything you have said in this thread.

Wall's DUI was a personal matter. Wiggins' problems all relate to his leadership abilities.

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bandmama 3 years, 11 months ago

ftpheide- be fair. Gary is always thinking of protecting the public, even on the night of his "incident"! Had a gun in the car to keep the bad guys away. You should really try to be more understanding........

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sledneck 3 years, 11 months ago

A sheriff who ignores the law, ESPECIALLY DUI, has a major problem. This man endangered the public he swore to protect. Then he used every bit of BS in the book to wiggle out of it. That is not the portrait of character you folks seem to want to display.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

It's not just Wall. Some people he has hired are questionable characters. The Steamboat Police Dept. released an officer for driving drunk in patrol vehicle after assulting his wife. Now he works at the Sheriffs office. He is a deputy. Then there is Erik. His case is in the Federal courts as we speak. He violated a womans civil rights.
How can these people patrol Routt County. We need protection from them!

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

Aich-If Sheriff Warner's office declined to investigate the evidence you presented to them-it was probably because they didn't deem it to be worthy of action. John Warner had been re-elected several times and had alot of experience. Now if you still have that evidence and took it down to Wall's office- They would send out a Swat Team!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

It is my understanding that Erik is a dispatcher, not a patrol officer. I have been as outspoken as anyone in arguing that Erik did violate Cargo's rights (see US Supreme Court decisions Welsh v Wisconsin and Wilson v Arkansas), but I do not feel threatened knowing that he is a dispatcher. If he was working as a patrol officer then I would want clear evidence that he is now a completely different sort of patrol officer.

It is my understanding that there was a significant period of time between the officer was fired as a SB officer and was hired by the RCSO and those that hired him made it clear that his prior actions were unacceptable, but that he had matured and that he would not do anything similar again.

Personally, I am fine with officers that have faced adversity and have matured. That is often far better than someone that has always lived inside the lines and has no understanding of other people.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

Both of these men acted in an extremely agressive way towards women. Neither of them should hold jobs related to law enforcement. I can not imagine how Cargo must of felt knowing the Town of Oak revenged her by dismissing this man from his duties then Wall gives him a full time position. There is a slap in the face to woman hood!

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John Fielding 3 years, 11 months ago

.

Inn my opinion, Erik acted in a manner that he thought was in accord with his duty when he pursued and subdued a suspect. He was clearly wrong, his judgment or knowledge were faulty, but I saw nothing to indicate a sexual bias. If he had treated a suspect with deference due to gender would that have been appropriate?

.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

There wasn't any reason for Erik to pursue Cargo. No probable cause. Erik turned the camera off in his vehicle and told a fable. This is why there are no charges against Cargo. I truly feel that Erik would not have pursued a full grown man into his home to repeatedly tase him. Cargo is not a large person. Erik's odds were pretty good that evening!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

First, the Town of OC never did fire either Erik or Russ. They resigned. The Town Board had asked the business community for their recommendations and those recommendations were to fire Erik and Russ. The Town Board asked for the business community's input after they placed an ad in the SB Pilot apologizing to their customers for the OCPD. The Town Board by 4-3 had earlier officially reprimanded Mayor J for considering replacing the OCPD with Sheriff's dept after J's motion failed 3-4. None of the 4 previous supporters of Russ and Erik have ever publicly said that they were going to vote to fire them. One of the 4 was overheard saying they were in favor of a leave of absence with an outside review. So it is not known whether OC would have fired them if they had not resigned.

Second, an awful lot of OC women felt that Erik did treat them poorly. The roadside sobriety check on a very cold night of a woman not warmly dressed that occurred after she blew a 0 on the breathalzyer certainly contributed to that. He also made a comment to a woman after she said she was a fiancee of a police officer suggesting that her fiancee had made a bad choice. He apologized to her and her fiancee in a public forum.

Third, it was not issues with the camera that led to Cargo's charges being dropped. The key issue in the DMV hearing was that failing to make a turn signal is not sufficient justification to enter someone's home. See Welsh v Wisconsin. Erik may have had justification for a roadside sobriety check, but he did not have probable cause of a serious crime justifying entering Cargo's house without a warrant. The criminal charges were dropped without explanation, but the same issue would have killed the evidence against her. I think it is pretty clear that Erik was a poorly trained officer with poor judgment that did just about everything wrong that night. The hard part for me is knowing how much to blame him personally vs blaming his abysmal lack of training and bad supervision.

BTW, while the police do not have the right to enter your house if they suspect you of drunk driving, it does not mean that making it home "protects" you from consequences of driving drunk. The officer can call in and request a warrant. Also, the officer can presumably knock on your door and ask you to come out and preform a roadside sobriety check and if that is refused then it could easily be the same as refusing one when pulled over (license suspension).

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

ftp,

Warner's so-called investigator didn't even look at what I had. It included sales tax records, sales claimed, and bank deposits over a period of months. $10,000 every three months was being deposited in excess of cash register receipts of around $10,000 per month, but sales tax was being paid on the whole $40k. That's pretty good evidence of money laundering. Oh, and the fact that there was evidence (physical, from a tox screen at the ER after a bicycle accident) of cocaine use by people involved in the enterprise was also ignored. No interest at all was shown in pursuing the matter.

Wall's tenure in office has not been without blemish, but hiring someone as a dispatcher who can pass a random urinalysis might have had something to do with it. Who else in town can do that? Not very many, it would seem.

I do not purport to defend Gary Wall's errors. I do, however, know that his administration of the RCSO has directly made my life better and solved some long-standing problems of just NOT DOING ANYTHING to help people with nowhere else to turn when laws were, in fact, clearly being violated without Warner doing anything at all to help.

As a matter of fact, one of Warner's deputies released some dogs to a neighbor and they were let loose to run and poop in everybody else's yard early in the morning, and on one of those mornings they attacked a woman in Steamboat II. The deputy was an AMWAY associate with the person who got custody of the dogs. If you checked the patrol vehicle, you would probably have found AMWAY products in there. I think in terms of relative harm and misconduct, chasing a person who flees from a traffic stop is about even with releasing vicious dogs who harmed an innocent woman out for a morning jog.

Wiggins might do as good a job in the community as Wall has. We know what Wall has done, but Wiggins is a complete unknown.

And ACET'S record? Come on. They are spending at least $500,000 a year and making a couple of insignificant busts on leads they develop themselves. If somebody spent the money on a drug sniffing dog and checked vehicles at Bob Adams Field and the Justice Center on a random basis, I've got a lot of confidence that a lot more drugs would be found. I have often stated, and still believe, that if ACET ran radar between Steamboat and Craig they would eventually find a lot more drugs and certainly some leads back to sources than whatever it is they are doing now. Drugs have to MOVE to be sold. Airplanes and cars are the way it is done around here. One drug dog would pay off far more in the end than whatever ACET has been doing in the past few years.

Wiggins is basically running on a platform of reducing turnover and cooperating with the county commission. Wall ran on "community policing." Wall's approach helps citizens.

I truly want the best man for the CITIZENS.

They are both good men. Wiggins needs to show what he will do for US.

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bandmama 3 years, 11 months ago

Aich, so what you are saying is that although a candidate may not follow the laws and regs in his personal life, as long as he enforces them with the public, he is the best man for the job? I see. When was the vivious dog attack in SBII? The evidence that was ignored by Warners investigator... why did you not take it to another level if you had said evidence? Why stop at here? For the amounts and accusations you state I am sure SOMEONE in law enforcement somewhere would have taken you seriously. How is it you were made aware of confidential hospitol records? And lastly, why aren't YOU running for this position as you seem to have knowledge of every illegal activity in the county. As well as plans on taking care of the problems. Just wondering.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

Good questions bandmama. I thought my work was done here but maybe not!

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

Mama,

I'm just giving you the facts, Ma'am.

You'd be surprised what goes on around here that gets totally ignored by LE. CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) says they don't come in on a case until the local LE agency calls them in. I don't know if GRAMNET would have done anything or not, but it's doubtful.

It's much more exciting and a lot easier to prove if they actually catch someone with drugs than to have to use money laundering as probable cause to get search warrants, etc. Plus, we really don't have many people around here in LE with the imagination, background or (I really hate to say it) intelligence to put these things all together. Blood, gunfire, car crashes, domestic violence, etc., don't require much investigation. Nobody locally has a "white collar" crimes unit.

As for the hospital records, the person in the bike accident was "on something" when taken to the ER with head injuries and friends 'fessed up about cocaine use. Read up on treatment of head injuries and you'll understand why this kind of information is important to medical staff. I was told first-hand by a friend of this person who knew that coke was a factor. I also knew the accident victim through business. All of this plays back into the root cause of the matters I have discussed in another current thread. When a business was only profitable because money that did not pass through the cash register was making it into the business bank account, then giving false information to someone as an inducement to enter into a business transaction is called "fraud." A debt obtained by fraud is invalid. Lawsuits follow, and the rest is history.

I'm not running for the position because nobody would vote for me. Also, all of my experience with law enforcement is as a victim of crime. I have no experience ignoring criminal activity, and would not know how to do it if I won and had to reverse Sheriff Wall's policies when I took office.

You can say what you want about people obeying laws in their personal lives, but from what I see, there is not a cop in the United States who observes the speed limit when it's time to go home after their shift. Gary Wall is the ONLY LE officer I ever heard of being stopped by the highway patrol in their official vehicle. 1 in a million chance, right?

And if you really want me to say it, after my local experiences with LE and the legal apparatus that is supposed to function as a justice system around here, I just want somebody ON MY SIDE. So far, Sheriff Wall's policies have put his deputies on my side. That is good enough for me. I see no benefit in going back to a cop shop that's there for the benefit of the officers, with public service being optional.

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bandmama 3 years, 11 months ago

I dont understand how someone could have such good evidence of evil deeds and because one person turns it down, not going for the gold. You know? I would like to know how he got confidential hosp records. Wow, he could even get somone fired for leaking such information. I am concerned about that vicious (not vivious! lol) dog that was in SBII. I have lived there for many years and dont seem to recall the incident. Something else has been puzzling my puzzler, just how many legal incidents and problems does this aich guy have? From the MMJ debate to the judge to this he seems to have had run ins with the law with everything and everybody. I may be WAY off on this this but maybe it is a case of the boy who cried wolf? You can scream "Wolf" only so many times before people stop listening. I am not saying evidence wasn't there, just saying...........

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

Mama: There was that incident in SII where that earily morning jogger was ment by a Healer mix. She was nipped on the ankle . It was in the paper. That's about the most exciting event that has happened in SII in along time. Now Riverside that's where the action is. Arch should move to Riverside . Then he would know what a problem is. Isn't there a law against publicly exposing patients medical files? Will if not there should be!

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tcb 3 years, 11 months ago

ftp and aich; holy cow! what gives? aich....i doubt that gary wall is the ONLY officer to ever be stopped in his police car by the highway patrol........but, maybe he was the ONLY one to be DRUNK!

 ftp;  wall didn't hire foster....he doesn't hire dispatchers.  and if my memory is right, this mackey fella wasn't drunk driving his police car.  get the facts right people.  if you're gonna run your gums on this form make sure you've got it right.
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bandmama 3 years, 11 months ago

tcb- you are most certainly right. If we could get the facts from a reliable source it would be nice. ftp- thanks for the dog info. That was the only incident I could remember also. And yes, when I worked for a hosp (11 yrs) every year on our evaluation date we were required to sign a confidentiality contract. If we broke it, We got fired, no questions asked.
aich- I dont need to read up on head injuries see response to ftp. most officers worth thier salt dont drink and drive and those that do usually are held accountable and dont ask thier deputies to put themselves in a questionable position. They may go a little faster than the speed limit but I think that is a whole different boat. And if you carefully re read your demeaning posts towards most law enforcement here, is it any wonder why they may not take you seriously, Even if you have a legit reason for contacting them. And lastly, what business is it that you are accusing of running a scam? That is a lot of cash to explain.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

TCB Thats good to know that Wall didn't hire Erik. Who did? Did they know his history? The Deputy was drunk. He is always drunk. He drove the patrol vehicle with a loaded wepon on him just like Wall. He has done alot worse then that. Do you want to hear about it?

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

Bandmama,

The person attacked by the dogs was a registered nurse who had deep puncture wounds in her legs and back. She had permanent nerve damage. Several of us came to her aid that morning, including the RCSO, and the owner of the dogs entered a guilty plea as part of a plea bargain. Go back and look it up. It was around 1995 or 1996.

As for the local LE agency, which was the RCSO, I can't explain why they did not want to investigate the evidence I gave to them. Maybe you can explain that one.

As for the medical records on the head injury, I was given the information by a friend of the victim while I was gathering the evidence of money laundering. It was common knowledge that the victim used cocaine and had been using just before the accident. No information came from any source except what was released by the victim and friends. The business I was investigating was run by local kids most of the time with an out of town owner. It was regular practice for them to close the place early and have keg parties, drugs, etc. This was told to me by an employee of the business, a "manager," who had participated. I don't know; maybe they were lying. I know the rest of it did not add up. Yeah, $10,000 is a lot of cash, but an "all cash" business can get away with it. Know why? Nobody at that time had ever heard of the Colorado Department of Revenue conducting an audit on sales tax records. It was very easy to slip a few hundred extra dollars in cash into the bank deposit every week and pay sales tax on it.

When you go to the RCSO and they don't care, and you call the CBI and they don't care, who else has jurisdiction? RCSO was part of GRAMNET in those days, so why didn't RCSO pass the information along? I never even got a phone call from them.

Did you happen to notice that when RCSO dropped out of GRAMNET, ACET started making some drug arrests? Wonder why that was? It was almost as if somebody in RCSO was tipping off or protecting traffickers. Why is it that, to this very day, neither GRAMNET or ACET has ever arrested any local prominent caucasians like doctors, lawyers, cops, real estate agents, etc., except for the couple of cases where somebody stumbled into a pot growing operation?

When a former judge's girlfriend was arrested for conspiracy to traffick in cocaine, and the judge himself admitted that he knew about her cocaine use (and was voted out of office I think in 2002 as a result of the situation), why don't people like that go to jail, etc? 'Splain that one please, Lucy.

By the way, I did report it all to the FBI and IRS and Colorado Dept of Revenue, and none of them took any action I know of. Like I said, it's easier when they find drugs than when they find evidence of trafficking, and the Dept of Justice guidelines require more money to be involved or crimes of violence in order to start a criminal investigation.

You don't like Gary Wall. We get it.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

And by the way, the state licenses various kinds of agents and investigators who act on behalf of insurance companies, bonding agencies, etc. It was my business to look into people's backgrounds at that time, and that's how I was exposed to LE and various others in the course of business. Some of it was for my personal business, and some was for those I worked for, and in a small town things tend to cross back and forth. When you run into the same people for the same reasons a few times, you begin to figure out a few things. This was how I obtained the evidence I wrote about, and yeah, it's appalling to have law enforcement agencies ignore something you give to them on a platter. At the same time, they usually have more pressing matters to deal with and if it's going to take much work, small agencies go on to other things that are easier. It's a fact of life.

Steamboat PD once refused to investigate and employee theft problem I reported to them. They said it was too expensive to investigate and prove. Then the detective tried to sell me some "business software" he developed on his Macintosh computer "in his spare time." Right . . . .

Welcome to the real Routt County. Keep peeling back the layers, and more and more comes out.

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bandmama 3 years, 11 months ago

aich,we are talking about different things I'm very sorry for the young lady's suffering. confidentiality? If they did not come employed health care workers, nothing more than gossip. When not sure of my facts, I try to to ask for verification. Your experiences dealing with law enforcement are far different from mine. I met the former sheriff when my BIG dog urinated on one of his LITTLE dogs. Could've been a wiener, instead he laughed it off & was a very good neighbor for years. There have been many accusations thrown out about many, but most are taken care of in one way or another. In answer to the incident theft, what was the dollar amount involved? Reason I am asking is that I do expect those in charge of spending my tax $ to put things in perspective. What happened with the little girl who was possibly the target of an abuction last week. Nothing, NADA written or known about that. Could be an on going investigation, could be facts we are not and should not be privy to at this point in time. I put violent or sexual misconduct WAY ahead of a small employee theft. (i say small as I dont at this time know the $ you may have lost) You wouldn't run because no one would vote for you? Why is that? You and I have had many differences in opinions on these threads. I think we both have the basics on morals down but you do seem to be a bit more hard A$$. I think that when in a position of responsibility you need to choose your battles. Go for the bigger scheme of things let little things go. Battle the issues that effect most people, not those that limit your capabilities to 1 or 2 who have not done as "you" or "I" see fit. Reguarding my like or dislike of Mr Wall. I'm sure he is great guy, As I said B4, he used poor judgement and made a mockery of a DUI. Sorry,if he was sober, I would have 100 percent more respect for the man had he taken the breath test, did what was "right" given his position in the community at the time. If he had messed up, fine. Deal with it and make an example of it for the youngsters in the community. he never EVER should have used his position inthe way he did. Everyone messes up. It is the way you handle your screw up that gains respect.

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bandmama 3 years, 11 months ago

ftp- you seem to have had experience in dealing with SWAT? What happened? Please dont tell me they surrounded your home in full comabt uniform for a bag of weed?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

"from a tox screen at the ER after a bicycle accident"

I cannot see how that could be admissible. Being told that inadmissible evidence might even be a real problem for the police because they cannot use inadmissible evidence to investigate further (fruit of the poisoned tree). The investigators could be put into a situation of having to prove your medical info had no effect upon their investigation.

I could even see an investigation regarding the improper disclosure of medical records as being the reaction of some dept. You should be glad that those investigators didn't want another case because the easier investigation would have been improper release of medical records (basically confessed by you) than an investigation based upon inadmissible evidence.

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tcb 3 years, 11 months ago

aich;

 I've gotta tell ya, you're the next best thing to Oliver Stone.  You tell us all these stories about how deputies and police tell you things are "civil matters" and you're not satisfied.  Maybe it's because these things ARE civil matters?  Maybe it's YOU that is the problem?  How can one person be soooooo persecuted and singled out by the police?  Reeks of a "you" problem to me.   So what county owned road is it that is plowed by private contractors?  Why does the county not plow it if it is a county road?  You already admitted you were "technically wrong", so what's the deal?  Sounds like it was your fault.....get over it.

 As far as a Sheriff calling folks to apologize for his deputies goes, that tells me that Wall's deputies are ignorant or he's covering things up(come on, Oliver Stone, you gotta love that one)....or maybe BOTH?

ftp: Erik was hired by Routt County Dispatch not Wall. They are separate agencies. This "deputy" you talk about driving drunk in a patrol car....PROVE IT. Show all of us the police report you speak about or pipe down. Have to call you out on that one. Show us.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

Mama- you know that I have never had to first hand experience a swat team. Are mutual friend did however. As her neighbor ,that viewed the swat exercise, I can tell you the overkill was embarrassing. We thought she had been murdered! It sure makes one question the size of the Sheriffs Office. They had their fun. Wall had his oppurtuintity to show up his rival. (politics and all) They were in the wrong! My friend has sent out the proper notification required by law to settle out of court and save the tax payers the expense of a Federal Trial that they can't win. No response. Now she'll need to go forth with her suit.It's a wast of time,money and an embarrasement to Routt County! It seems like our governing agencies make alot or bad decisions at our expense. It would be a trial based on inadmissible evidence!

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

tcb You didn't answer my question. Did the person that gave Erik full time employment know about his past? There is no police report on the officers drunken driving. Their the ones that caught him-it's handled internally. Why do you think they let him go!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

SWAT is all about overwhelming force since that is the safest way for the public and the officers for them to do their missions. So what you describe sounds like they were doing it right.

Lawsuits for improper police actions quickly become controlled by the dept's insurance company lawyers. So the case is not costing the taxpayers hardly anything. Where it does cost is when the insurance company's risk assessment people review the case and decide to raise the cost of insurance.

Even if what you say about Erik is true then how would it be relevant to his job as a dispatcher? It took about 3 months for it to become clear that Russ and Erik were inept and unfair police officers. But he apparently has been fine as a dispatcher for years so let your personal vendetta go.

And the sort of unfounded, or at the very least, unprovable allegations that you are making is exactly what is wrong because it is so easy to make them against people you don't like and so unfair when they are made against people you do like.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

Scott,

Medical records are subject to subpoena when they affect a criminal or civil matter. Insurance companies often obtain such material when it has an impact on their liability to pay a claim. For example, did you know that most auto collision and comprehensive insurance does not cover you when you are committing a criminal act? Like evading, or DUI, for example? Workers who are injured while taking drugs often file claims against their employers, and the employers have a right to obtain evidence in their defense. When a person has committed a criminal act or files a civil lawsuit and medical information is relevant to the case, it can be obtained and is admissible. In fact, it is required as a part of disclosure in a civil case. You bring in one medical fact (an injury for which you claim compensation) then everything else has to be disclosed too.

Tcb,

Yeah, it's common for people to deflect valid complaints by dismissing them as fantasy. That's a common tactic used by attorneys. Who are you defending?

Mama,

The theft was around $600 per month over a period of months. Inventory was also taken. Do you recall that two women stealing cash from a bank got away with it for years because they were trusted to do the right thing? The same thing happened to me. Guess what? You can't trust people around here. When the cops won't even take a complaint because they'd have to leave the office and investigate a crime, what do you do then? You don't file an insurance claim, you don't get your money back, and you risk being sued for wrongful termination (that came into the picture too).

Nobody said John Warner was not a nice man. He was a public figure who depended on the vote to keep him in office. His RCSO did, however, ignore breaches of the law which was within its jurisdiction, and citizens of Routt County suffered as a result. People got away with a lot of crap that Gary Wall's deputies nip in the bud. It leads to more respect for the "little" laws and increased civil order which protects all of us.

The SWAT team event may have been overkill, but guess what? Nobody got hurt. There was probable cause to do what was done. A judge decided that when he signed the search warrant.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

Who said nobody got hurt? Can you prove that? Lack of probable cause is why charges against my friend were dropped.

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jerry carlton 3 years, 11 months ago

More rabbit trails here than I can follow. Back to the article. Never met Wall, met Wiggins once for 5 minutes. I voted for Bosick in the primary. Never met him. Wall was convicted of DWAI which I doubt was a conspiracy by CSP. Walls number one man took a county car to Utah to buy office furniture and wrecked it? What happened to Buy in Steamboat? Was it county business or personal furniture? What was the discipline handed out? Never did get much information on that fiasco. Wiggins has had some bad apples in Gramnet, no question about that. I was a corrections officer in another state 13 years ago for 5 years. It is my opinion that the personalities of people working in law enforcement and criminals are very similiar and sometimes it does not take much to push law enforcement to the other side. Happily I never had that push given to me. Bottom line concerning this article is I am voting for Wiggins.

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tcb 3 years, 11 months ago

ftp, took a bit to research your question further. eric was already working as a dispatcher when the oak creek incident happened. I'm sure they did a check on him when they hired him way back when.

jlc, i think this election comes down to a lesser of the evils vote. If writing is an option then I will write in Nick Bosick's name. Voted for him in the primary, too, because I think he's the best guy for the job and still believe that. Have started hearing others talk about a write in vote for Nick and I'm onboard with that, too. Go Bosick.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

tcb , Erik was working part time for dispatch and for Oak Creek at the same time. After Cargo unfortunate endever, he started working full time for dispatch because he no longer had employment in Oak Creek. I would have told you this had I known you were going to do research. I to will vote for Nick. I like the quality of his character. I'm a registered democrat!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

And serious issues were found by the independent review of ACET. In particular, the whole idea of "hot cash" was found to be a really bad idea and not up to professional standards. And there were a number of other areas that were criticized.

It makes me wonder about Wiggins and what sort of supervision he provides to his officers. Was that report a learning experience or dismissed as some outsider's opinions? Would Wiggins tolerate deputies violating people's rights? Would they harass dispensaries and grow operations? I don't know. I think Wiggins needs to clearly state how he stands on those sort of law enforcement issues.

I think I'll base my vote on which candidate acknowledges their mistakes and has learned from those mistakes.

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jerry carlton 3 years, 11 months ago

The problem with writing in Bosick is the chances of success are slim and slimmer. If the post way up in these has any validity, I would rather have Wiggins as sheriff and Bosick as undersheriff than Wall and the UTAH KID still in office.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

Let's review some facts.

Ftp, nobody got shot. The police cannot tell the future. They can only go on the knowledge they have. If an officer had gone up there, knocked on the door and taken a shotgun blast to the face, the outcry would have been over why SWAT was not involved in the raid.

jlc, Gary Wall lost his license for a year, and Art Bustos was in a wreck in his official vehicle in Utah. ACET has had problems with accounting for money, with the conduct of some of the officers, and with questionable overall effectiveness.

Here's the bottom line for me, and maybe you'd like to consider a situation like this one. I came home one day and found several trees had been cut down on my property, as well as on my neighbor's property on the common property line. My neighbor would not answer the telephone and did not return my calls after I left a message. I called RCSO and a deputy made one telephone call to my neighbor, after which we discussed the situation and came to an agreement which was good for both of us. Turns out the trees were diseased, and I would have agreed to have them removed if the neighbor had been able to reach me before the tree crew showed up. Now we know how to reach each other in the event of questions or emergencies, and there's no bad blood.

You cannot force people to talk to you. If the deputy had told me, "It's a civil matter; hire a lawyer," then it would have cost between $100 - $300 to get a lawyer just to write a letter. If going to court had been necessary, then it would have been anywhere from $1500 to $3000 just to get started.

So, I don't care about the DUI, the wreck, the mishandling of money, ACET's personnel problems or any of those things. Most of us in the county will never be directly affected by anything except noise complaints, trespassing, petty crimes and quality of life issues caused by neighbors (plowing snow onto our property, blocking our driveway, etc.). During the previous sheriff's tenure, I was personally or directly affected (meaning I was there when it happened even though it did not happen to me) by fraud, employee theft, vicious dogs, a crime of violence (felony menacing), and money laundering which probably was related to drug trafficking. The only time the RCSO ever did an effective job was when they answered the 911 call in Steamboat II after the dog bite case. They're great on 911 calls, but there's a lot more to law enforcement than speeding, bleeding and 18 wheelers crashing on Rabbit Ears Pass.

Bostic and Wiggins are good patrol cops. The way they deal with everything else is the unknown, and I haven't seen a word so far indicating that community policing will be a priority. A return to that old status quo so that time and money not spent on community matters can be used by the county for something else would be a big step backwards.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

(cont)

This article indicates that Wiggins is most concerned with reducing turnover in the RCSO. His focus is clearly inside the thin blue line. Lots of cops have the "us versus them" attitude that tends to isolate law enforcement personnel from the community, and that's a crying shame when a little bit of involvement of law-abiding citizens in the county could benefit everyone. If we can trust the RCSO when we need help involving matters of law (not baby sitting, not whining, not a complaint about the color of the new paint on the neighbor's shutters and such things which really ARE a civil matter, or something for the building department, or the zoning department, or the planning department to worry about) then I believe a lot more of us will be willing to help THEM do their jobs.

When common law-abiding citizens end up in an adversarial situation with the police or justice system, something is wrong. Since the common citizen must count on police and justice system personnel to do what is right, and have very little recourse when that does not happen, we need public officials who will support us.

If Wiggins' only real goal is to be more cooperative with the county commissioners and create better conditions for RCSO officers, where does that leave the rest of us? On the outside, waiting for the next chance to vote.

So, how about it? What's the plan? Can Wiggins convince us that everything will be better than it already is for the people who pay taxes to support the RCSO? If they're going to come running when the neighbor's dog chases me up the steps to my back door (which happened) but tell me to hire a lawyer to keep the ten-year-old kid next door from riding a snow mobile at high speed through the trees on my property (leaving me liable for allowing it to happen if the kid hurts himself), then turnover of deputies really doesn't mean much to me. Maybe more turnover would be good in a case like that, eh?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

Aic, Been a while since I've said this, I can agree with you.

Wall, Wiggins: What's the plan for the people of Routt County?

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jerry carlton 3 years, 11 months ago

Aic I knew what Wall's punishment was for driving DWAI. I was asking if Bustos was disciplined for wrecking a county vehicle in Utah? The story was he was buying office furniture. Was it for his office or his home? Could he not have bought it in Steamboat or Denver? Is he taking our tax dollars out of state? Character counts in law enforcement and both the DWAI and the wreck in Utah bring up questions of character.

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oldskoolstmbt 3 years, 11 months ago

write in BOSICK when you vote!!!!!!! neither one of these clowns need to be in office!!!

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

jlc,

I don't know what happened to Bustos. I do know that almost every time I've taken a new job, somebody else paid my expenses to move my home and furniture, and a lot of them were paid by the taxpayers. I'm not defending Bustos or Wall, but moving furniture as part of getting a new job does not offend me personally.

Character certainly makes a difference. A person who does some personal business at no extra expense to the employer while on company business is doing nothing wrong. A person who uses the sham of company business to do personal business is stealing. It just all depends on the details, and I doubt we'll get them.

I've learned in my life that so-called "character" may be as bad as a total lack of scruples. I've pretty much concluded that people who appear to be "of good character" are frequently just very good at hiding the truth. Newt Gingrich and John Edwards are two shining examples of men with opposing political viewpoints who both betrayed wives stricken with cancer. Bill Clinton? Where do we start? Duke Cunningham? What a loser. Charlie Rangel? The tax man was actually a tax evader?

No, I'm down to the point now where I'd rather have a crook in office who's on my side than a crook in office who's on the other side.

Wiggins is an unknown when it comes to being the sheriff. Wall has not done anything to harm me, and in fact, he has made things better for me. I've been very pleasantly surprised. Wall being in office has saved me money and made my neighborhood a better place to live.

A man of good character who does not enforce the laws is worthless to me. So is a crook who does not enforce the laws. Whatever the problems with enforcing the law were before Wall's election, the law is being enforced now from what I can see, and that's all I expect a sheriff to do.

This election should not be about providing good working conditions for deputies. It should be about serving the citizens who have nowhere else to turn when someone else breaks the law. Getting along with the county commissioners politically is way, way down on my list. In fact, an independent sheriff's department that's not afraid to arrest lawbreakers, no matter who they are or what office they hold, would be a big improvement around here. Seems to me that Sheriff Wall is not looking for political favors from the rest of the officials, and in my book, that's a big plus for him.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 11 months ago

Bustos was getting what he said was a fairly unique piece of used office furniture. That is a pretty weak incident to which say there is some sort of problem in the Sheriff's dept.

It would seem to me that Wiggins has more questions of management that need to be answered than Wall. That review of ACET did not say they had a bad officer and they did a good job of catching that officer. It said that ACET had various procedural and management issues. Seems to me that the issues could be summarized as the consequences of giving officers too much leeway. Such as "hot cash" which was intended to allow undercover officers to quickly respond to a buy opportunity, but which review saying that whole concept is a horrible law enforcement idea. Should not have buys unless you have an investigation and a plan and so on. That an informant was allowed access to a police laptop was not just a failure of that officer, but of their procedures in terms of what is on the laptop and so on.

And if Wiggins has these issues in a small dept then what is going to happen when managing a much larger dept?

I think Wiggins has management questions to answer.

I think Wall has personal behavior and professional relations questions to answer.

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jerry carlton 3 years, 11 months ago

Lame Can not afford to rent a room. I am living on social security. No one could change anybody's mind anyway. Just a way to pass the time . Why are you reading these 60 comments? High School foot ball starts tonight. Something much more worthwhile!

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jerry carlton 3 years, 11 months ago

Scott Was the "unique piece of office furniture" for his office at the jail or at home? I did not say there was a problem at the sherriff's office. I am saying there is a problem with taking a county car to Utah and and getting in an accident on what appears to have nothing to do with county business. Did Bustos pay for the mileage, fixing the car? Then the whole incident pretty much gets swept under the rug and there goes a few thousand more tax dollars down the drain with no one held accountable.

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ftpheide 3 years, 11 months ago

This is a strong case for Sheriff Office employees paying milage fees. Personal use and all. tcb needs to research this case and find out exactly what our trusted undersheriff was up to. Was he at fault in this accident? What did this cost , we the people, for his office furniture. Why are their so many employees at the SO? What the heck do they do all day ? tcb were counting on ya!

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bandmama 3 years, 10 months ago

ftp- would be easier to reach you if you were not on the phone! LOL! Will try again, and sometimes I just come to the realize that it is pointless to comment!

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