County surveyor arrested on charges of driving under the influence of drugs

Ridgeway “Skidge” Moon also charged with possession of drugs, driving with alcohol



Courtesy photo

Ridgeway “Skidge” Moon

— Routt County Surveyor Ridgeway “Skidge” Moon was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and several other charges.

According to a Colorado State Patrol warrantless arrest affidavit, Moon was arrested after a traffic stop at 10:27 p.m. Thursday at Walton Creek Road and U.S. Highway 40. In the affidavit, Trooper Brett Hilling said he pulled over Moon’s Dodge pickup because its license plate wasn’t illuminated, as required by state law.

Hilling wrote in the affidavit that Moon “mumbled when he spoke” and had a “strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage on his breath.”

Hilling said he found a clear plastic baggie in the right breast pocket of Moon’s coat that later tested positive as cocaine. He also said that in Moon’s front pants pocket was “a small plastic bottle with a short section of straw attached to it,” and “inside the small bottle was more of the white powder.”

Inside Moon’s vehicle was a half-gallon bottle of vodka that was partially empty, Hilling said.

Hilling said that Moon denied drinking alcohol but that he struggled to complete voluntary roadside maneuvers.

Moon also was arrested on suspicion of possessing a Schedule 2 controlled substance, driving with defective license plate lamps, drinking from or possessing an open alcoholic beverage container, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and possessing drug paraphernalia. He was booked into Routt County jail at 12:20 a.m. Friday and released on $10,000 bond at 1:45 a.m.

Moon did not return several messages left Monday and Tuesday at his office, D&D, requesting comment.

Moon, 63, is serving his fourth four-year term as county surveyor. He has run unopposed as an unaffiliated candidate each time. The surveyor represents the county in land boundary disputes.

County Manager Tom Sullivan said Moon’s annual salary from the county is $3,610, which is set by state law.

“I don’t think the county’s had any need since I’ve been here to look over a land dispute, and I’ve been here 10 years,” Sullivan said.

Moon is scheduled to appear in Routt County Court at 8:30 a.m. June 28.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email


hereandthere 5 years, 10 months ago

Annual salary of $3600. To represent the county in land boundary disputes. And then from Sullivan that we have not had a dispute in 10 years . Great work if you can get it.


jerry carlton 5 years, 10 months ago

Our tax dollars at work! Is there a state law that says we have to have a county surveyor? Do we have to have a recall election to get this guy out of office? Over $36,000 for 10 years for nothing. What a joke!


JJ Southard 5 years, 10 months ago

Well, well, well....Brett Hilling DOES know how to find other drugs besides medical marijuana. I was beginning to wonder.


weststmbtres 5 years, 10 months ago

If any of you had ever done any extensive research in the county records you'd realize the county surveyor has more job duties than the article states. Among other things the county surveyor must review and approve every single plat, replat and condo map that gets recorded.


jerry carlton 5 years, 10 months ago

YVB No I do not know the value of the County Surveyor. I am taking Sullivan's quote at face value. If the surveyor was not needed for 10 years, I just wonder what our $36,000 got us. Would it be cheaper to hire a surveyor when needed? I have only talked to a lawyer 4 times in 66 years. I try to avoid them if at all possible.


weststmbtres 5 years, 10 months ago

If you read my post above you'll see the value jlc. By reviewing and approving every plat that arrives in the courthouse for recording the county surveyor mitigates boundary issues before they become a legal issue that would cost the county more money.


jerry carlton 5 years, 10 months ago

weststmbtres How many hours a month would "reviewing and approving every plat that arrives in the court house for recording" require? Just interested if we are getting our money's worth from our tax dollars. I have never met Skidge or had any dealings with him but cocaine use does not instill a lot of confidence in an elected official.


weststmbtres 5 years, 10 months ago

jlc, now you are doing the same thing with my post. Reviewing plats is not the only job duty the county surveyor is required to perform. See the link below for a full description.

The county surveyor is an elected position required by the state constitution. If you want to gripe about the money county surveyors get paid then go gripe in Jackson County, Moffat County or Rio Blanco County where little or no development is occurring. They each have an elected surveyor too. Those are the guys who are getting paid to do even less than our county surveyor.

I don't personally know Mr. Moon either and I agree that cocaine use does not instill confidence. However, if you'll read my posts again, I never once mentioned Mr. Moon in either of my posts. My posts were about the job duties of the position not the person.

Everybody these days wants to jump on the bandwagon screaming that every elected official is robbing the country blind but nobody ever wants to acknowledge the salary paid to these officials saves money in the long run.

I just looked at the county records and 2100 hits came up under "plats" recorded in the last decade. If the "only" thing Mr. Moon did for the county was reviewing plats then that puts it at a little over $17 per plat. Hardly the highway robbery you are decrying.

You do realize that a doctor can get through med school faster than a person can get licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor don't you. You do realize that a real estate attorney can demand anywhere from $350-$600 or more an hour. If the county surveyor position eliminates a lawsuit every few years then it's well worth the expense.


jerry carlton 5 years, 10 months ago

weststmbtres You have convinced me. The county surveyor is worth $300 per month. Based on his quote, it would appear that County Manager Sullivan needs some education on what the county surveyor does. I reviewed my posts and no where in them did I use the term "highway robbery" or did I make a statement that "every elected official is robbing the country blind". The closest I came was "What a joke!" You seem rather defensive about elected officials. Are you an elected official or spouse of an elected official? I will explain why I am sensitive about how our tax dollars are spent. In 1999 my property taxes were $1093.32. In 2010 my property taxes were $2119.16. That is an increase of 93% in 11 years. That far surpasses the rate of inflation. The King is taking more from the serfs and if it continues, the serfs will starve. My income certainly did not increase 93% in the last 11 years and I doubt that very many peoples did. But back to the origional point of this discussion. If Mr. Moon is convicted of the charges he faces, I question that he has the judgement or character to perform the duties of his office. Of course, if he runs unopposed again there will be no recourse for the voters of this county.


seeuski 5 years, 10 months ago

I have noted jlc and have placed him in my memory bank as a Conservative on taxing and spending issues. Certainly in the the 2012 elections we can count on him to vote that way. And Skidge is a valuable source of land data when the local Gov can't provide it. Old transactions were not always recorded with such precision and this guy was a go to expert on Routt county land boundaries. You don't just replace a guy like that very easily.


scott selby 5 years, 10 months ago

JLC- I am not arguing your point on taxes. I would ask how much the valuation of your property changed during that same time frame. What additional taxes were approved by voters during the same period? It will be interesting to see your tax burden based upon the latest valuations.


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