Wall ‘disappointed,’ not regretful about sheriff race

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— Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall said he is disappointed to be ousted from the Routt County Sheriff’s Office but he doesn’t know what else he could have done to win the election.

Wall lost to All Crimes Enforcement Team Commander Garret Wiggins by more than 900 votes. Wiggins will take office Jan. 11.

“I’m philosophical about this,” Wall said. “I respect our electoral process, and it is what it is, and I got thrown out with the rest of the Democrats and incumbents in Colorado, and what can I say? You never know all the details.”

Wall said he has not analyzed all of the results, but said, “Boy, some pretty popular Democrats — John Salazar — lost, as well as many others. Who knows what the connection is.”

Wall got 4,051 votes to Wiggins’ 4,978. Wall took the lead in seven of the 18 precincts, including six of eight precincts in Steamboat Springs. The only rural area he won was precinct 4, bordering Steamboat to the northeast. He said that in the last election he remembers carrying all of the Steamboat precincts and three rural precincts.

Wall said he was not at the office Wednesday and turned his phone off Tuesday night after learning about the results.

“It’s disappointing, but elections are elections,” he said. “That’s our process.”

When asked what he would have done differently, he said he hadn’t considered anything but said he didn’t have any regrets.

“I didn’t know what else to do,” he said. “I had a positive campaign and did what I could do.”

“I don’t have any idea what else I could have done,” he said. “I had enough money; I just didn’t know what else to do.”

Wall said he doesn’t have any plans for a job after he leaves office, but he’s not worried.

“It’s disappointing, but in terms of life, it’s not a setback,” he said.

—To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Tommie Belz 3 years, 10 months ago

If the two "Bafoons" don't even know who the three Sgts. at the PD are, you think they are gonna know what number to call and offer congrats to the ACET Commander. Besides, that would require a little investigation and well, quite simply put, I'm not sure they are qualified for that.

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ftpheide 3 years, 10 months ago

Wall, Scott Wedel says you lost because of your DUI and inability to work with other governmental agencies. Chew on that!

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pitpoodle 3 years, 10 months ago

I'd bet the reason Wall got so many votes was that he did stand up to the county commissioners. Others do not -- to our detriment. I would not call that inability to work with other government agencies. I would call that a good thing. Still, I'm glad Wiggins won.

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ftpheide 3 years, 10 months ago

pitpoodle, It's not just the county commissioners. It's the county attorney, Steamboat Police Dept., etc.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 10 months ago

This is really quite entertaining and maybe I'm just missing something. I'm still not completely understanding why the Sheriff's race is such a hot topic, especially when there were so many other races on a state and national level that will have far bigger impacts on our lives. Health care, income taxes, wars, economy, unemployment rate, deficit spending and national debt all rate much higher on my list of issues I think about on a daily basis. Nothing the Sheriff's office does on a daily basis has any affect on these issues. I've lived in Coloraco for 25 years and I can honestly say that my daily life has never been affected one way or the other by a policy implemented by the Sheriffs office.

Can someone please explain why the Sheriff's race is so much more important than these other issues?

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freerider 3 years, 10 months ago

weststmbtres

your right it's not that important , Steamboat is a small town with small town gossip mongers and haters with nothing better to do

Gary got a DUI and people love to kick you when your down ...This town is full of rednecks and pea brains and I think there is an inbreeding problem as well

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 10 months ago

The situation with his campaign truck in the county parking lot was indicative of his issues dealing with others. Instead of moving it or driving it home some days and leaving his other vehicle with campaign slogans in the lot, he lets it become an issue.

Gary could have survived the DUI situation if not for the other stuff. A lot of people believe he was pulled over because the police were tipped off that he was leaving the Chamber event after having drinks and so high beams was their excuse to pull him over. And that lots of people leave those events after having some drinks, but the police doesn't want to arrest half the Chamber so it was not random chance that he got pulled over. But when he is also being persecuted over his truck with campaign signs and so on then that is just too much.

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ftpheide 3 years, 10 months ago

weststmbtres, It's not the policies, implemented by the Sheriffs Office, that were the problem. It was the lack of accountability and professionalism that the SO has shown us over the past four years. If Gary Wall couldn't get his way he would hire an attorney and try to make the taxpayers pay his legal fees. There was no compromising with Mr. Wall - it had to be his way!! It is interesting that the majority of Garretts supporters were from the County. Steamboat isn't under the Sheriff's Office juristriction. The County is!!

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weststmbtres 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't live in Steamboat. I live in the county west of the city limits.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 10 months ago

I don't live in Steamboat. I live in the county west of the city limits.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 10 months ago

I also didn't say I had lived in Steamboat all those years either. Before I came here I spent nearly a decade in the Vail Valley. Where I have to say I recollect many elections and know exactly who and what I voted for when it came to issues that mattered. However, I do not recollect who the Sheriff was or recollect anything about a single political race for that office in Eagle County. On the other hand, becasue of all the hype and hysteria everyone has created I will never forget the names of the Sheriff's candidates here in Routt County as long as I live.

All I'm saying is this is the only place I've ever lived where the same people who are so fired up over a local Sheriff's election could seem to care less about the national issues that face us. Before you guys jump all over my comments I'm not talking just about the people who live here in the Pilot blogosphere. It's been a hot topic of conversation around the County as well. Many people I've spoken to don't seem to care to talk about any other political issues we are facing but are quick to bring up the Wall/Wiggins race.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 10 months ago

As for accountability, I don't see a pattern of the dept allowing officer misconduct. The issues were all with Gary Wall.

Even the frequently quoted situation of the Sheriff's office hiring an officer fired by SB, neglects the amount of time and counseling that had occurred between being fired and hired.

ACET under Wiggins had more issues with officer misconduct. That Wiggins caught them instead of the Craig Police dept probably saved his candidacy.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 10 months ago

westsbacres, I think law enforcement politics here is so polarized because of the actions of GRAMNET. Those were the bozos that busted an earlier mmj patient suffering from severe health issues, busted pot smokers on the gondola, walked around a concert sniffing for drugs and so on.

I do not recall any widespread passion during the race between Ed Burch and Warner.

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kyle pietras 3 years, 10 months ago

Wall came to us because there was something really wrong with the way the sheriffs dept. was run. He put his his heart and sole into that position. He stepped up to make changes. This county needs some changes, some real vision. We can only hope this takes us in a positive direction.

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 10 months ago

Gary got a DUI. Wiggins' underlings committed felonies right under his nose. Maybe those are offsetting penalties.

There is one glaring difference between the candidates which had nothing to do with the issues or abilities: image. Gary didn't look like a sheriff---no uniform, no badge, no weapons on display, no mustache, no boots, no cowboy hat, no nothin'! Even though Gary was a Colorado cop when Wiggins was in diapers in Florida, Garrett dressed the part. Gary's natty attire was an embarrassment to Routt County's western image. Garrett will bring Steamboat back into the top 10 ski areas 'cuz he's just what we need---a Sheriff who actually looks like a Sheriff!

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Tommie Belz 3 years, 10 months ago

@KYLE...seriously, right, you were serious about Wall putting his heart and soul into that position. Good grief, for one to actually put there heart or soul someplace they have to actually GO to that place.

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ftpheide 3 years, 10 months ago

Scott, I tried to inform the public of the Sheriffs Officers misconduct that we witnessed and the misconduct that the residents of Yampa had to endure during those two illegal raids. The comment was deleated. The ex-steamboat police officer was a eager participant in that misconduct! I think JD was correct in releasing this officer.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 10 months ago

Just did a little digging on the clerk and recorders web site. Everything I'm going to post is all public info if anyone wants to look.

http://pioneer.co.routt.co.us/aptitude/oncoreweb/Search.aspx

Evelyn Barr is deceased and Deborah Eck was the Personal Representative of the estate. Now the story comes together and the picture is a little clearer. I don't know any of these people personally. I guess it could be possible that ftpheide is Evelyn Barr's unmarried daughter with the same name, hence Evelyn's daughter also named Evelyn is still alive and well here on the pilot web site. Don't know the facts about that so I can't say for certain.

What I do see is that ftpheide, if not Evelyn herself, is someone related to the Barr family. If she weren't she probalby wouldn't be using the name Evelyn Barr. I see that he or she has a personal bone to pick with the RCSO regarding the Eck marijuana raid by virtue of his or her personal ties to the Eck family and his or her personal feelings that Eck was wronged by the RCSO.

Knowing this I can now read ftp's comments with a little more insight into her disdain for the RCSO.

This actually helps to answer my first question about why some of you guys are so fired up about the Sheriff but could seem to care less about everything else going on in our world. Personal vendetta's go a long way when shaping peoples attitudes, behavior, comments, politics and day to day conversations. It truly may be the only thing ftpheide cares about when it comes to politics. I'll admit I haven't spent time going back and read ftp's other comments about any other political issues so I can't say for certain if her entire agenda is aimed toward Gary Wall's departure from the RCSO. However, it seems as if that was the agenda of a lot of people around here lately to the detriment of all the other issues our County and Country face.

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weststmbtres 3 years, 10 months ago

Just did a little digging on the clerk and recorders web site. Everything I'm going to post is all public info if anyone wants to look. http://pioneer.co.routt.co.us/aptitud... Evelyn Barr is deceased and Deborah Eck was the Personal Representative of the estate. Now the story comes together and the picture is a little clearer. I don't know any of these people personally. I guess it could be possible that ftpheide is Evelyn Barr's unmarried daughter with the same name, hence Evelyn's daughter also named Evelyn is still alive and well here on the pilot web site. Don't know the facts about that so I can't say for certain. What I do see is that ftpheide, if not Evelyn herself, is someone related to the Barr family. If she weren't she probalby wouldn't be using the name Evelyn Barr. I see that he or she has a personal bone to pick with the RCSO regarding the Eck marijuana raid by virtue of his or her personal ties to the Eck family and his or her personal feelings that Eck was wronged by the RCSO. Knowing this I can now read ftp's comments with a little more insight into her disdain for the RCSO. This actually helps to answer my first question about why some of you guys are so fired up about the Sheriff but could seem to care less about everything else going on in our world. Personal vendetta's go a long way when shaping peoples attitudes, behavior, comments, politics and day to day conversations. It truly may be the only thing ftpheide cares about when it comes to politics. I'll admit I haven't spent time going back and read ftp's other comments about any other political issues so I can't say for certain if her entire agenda is aimed toward Gary Wall's departure from the RCSO. However, it seems as if that was the agenda of a lot of people around here lately to the detriment of all the other issues our County and Country face.

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ftpheide 3 years, 10 months ago

weststmbtres, Thanks for the clerk and recorders web site address!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 10 months ago

weststmtres, I think it is pretty distasteful that you posted that "investigation" of someone that blogs using their real name instead of anonymously like most.

Since the paper tries to validate user names then you could have just called the paper and expressed your concerns that maybe someone else is using a deceased person's id.

Or you could have just said that you think Evelyn Barr's family has ties with Eck.

But even those "revelations" would have still be irrelevant because there is no presumption that these blogs are being written by people without bias.

The only question I have is whether the criticism of officers under Wall is from people that are consistent critics of imperfect law enforcement or just hated Gary Wall.

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aichempty 3 years, 10 months ago

Whether it was Gary Wall or Garrett Wiggins who won 4 years ago, changes were needed. The RCSO under the former sheriff failed to enforce the laws which affect our welfare and safety, and through incompetence or neglect, or even willingly, allowed people to violate the laws without fear of consequences, allowed citizens of Routt County to be in danger of personal injury resulting in personal injury, and couldn't even get the paperwork down to the DA's office to prosecute a person who left a taped message on my answering machine identifying himself and threatening to stalk me and shoot me in the back. Why did he do that? Because he was a prescription drug abuser, he was working off the books as a landscaper while at the same time had a fraudulent workmens comp claim against a local business going on in which he claimed he could not work because he had hurt his back, and I got the goods on him. Why me? Because the RCSO could NOT BE BOTHERED with "a civil matter."

When a person is breaking the law three or four ways, and all it would take is an investigator spending a couple of hours to catch somebody with enough illegally possessed drugs to lock him away for a few months, or at least get him into the system where a bail bond violation for something like THREATENING TO SHOOT SOMEBODY IN THE BACK would put him in a place where he cannot hurt law-abiding citizens, that's why people DO NOT TRUST LAW ENFORCEMENT. That was why we needed a new sheriff four years ago. I only hope it's not a reason why we need a new sheriff four years from now.

Anybody who was part of the RCSO four years ago probably needed to be removed from the system. How could anyone who had been a part of such a piss-poor department be expected to step up as Wall made changes?

Some will say, oh, you know, what could I do about it? My answer is, you could have had some courage and integrity. Sure, it might have cost you your job. So what happened when Wall came in? A lot of people lost their jobs.

As for the drug raids discussed above. Folks, when a person has lived their life in a way that calls down suspicion on them, and associates with scum, they have to expect to live with the crap that goes along with that kind of behavior. It goes with the territory, and that's something that chronic law-breakers just have to deal with. If that raid had happened at the home of someone who never used drugs in their whole life, THEN you'd have something to complain about.

All we have to do is look around us to see that a whole lot of people are getting "a pass" on substance abuse, and it's silly to think that's the only thing they are doing wrong. The question is, "why?" Can they successfully be hiding it from law enforcement, or is law enforcement turning its head?

Why?

Money?

Incompetence?

Cops like dope too?

I guess we'll see what happens when Wiggins brings his four years of ACET drug busting experience to RCSO, won't we?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 10 months ago

And there's Aic. Sounds to me that you are likely to be disappointed by Wiggins if he fails to bring in a police state. Suspicion and associations is not evidence. Personal substance abuse is not of interest to police unless it involves other crimes. Personal drug use that does not involve other people is something for that person to work out, not for the state to prosecute. And it is no fun to prosecute in a place like liberal Routt County where frequently the jury is simply not going to send someone to jail for that.

When running for office, Wiggins did not say he was going to seriously change law enforcement priorities. If Wiggins starts targeting personal drug use or messes with dispensaries then he is not going to win reelection and might even be recalled.

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aichempty 3 years, 10 months ago

My point there, Scotty, was that abuse of a prescription drug (meaning that you possess prescription drugs that were not prescribed for you, or in excess of what was prescribed, or any other unauthorized form of possession) is a crime. So is insurance fraud. One is hard to prove, but the other is a snap. If the minor one can be used to open the door and disclose facts related to the other, isn't that a reasonable way to proceed? If they find pot in somebody's car and discover a body in the trunk while searching for drugs, isn't that fair game?

Wiggins is an unknown at this point, and to me it will probably never make a difference anyway. I think he wants to make this a better place for families and kids, and that's fine with me. It may not be good for the tourist business, but that doesn't affect me either. If they will just patrol CR-129 regularly during the morning, afternoon and weekend heavy traffic periods and shut down the speeders and bozos who pass on the double yellow, that will probably be enough. You know, however, that the all-important "shift change" won't allow that to happen effectively, because that interferes with quality "cop time" or something. The whole thing will probably turn into one big joke, and it probably won't even be be a good joke.

Somebody ought to play a prank on Wiggins when he takes over. Rig his headlights to "bright" and call the CSP. I want to be there with a camera when that one goes down ;-)

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JJ Southard 3 years, 10 months ago

your right it's not that important , Steamboat is a small town with small town gossip mongers and haters with nothing better to do

Gary got a DUI and people love to kick you when your down ...This town is full of rednecks and pea brains and I think there is an inbreeding problem as well

^^best comment of the whole thread....

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