Police chief tenders resignation | SteamboatToday.com

Police chief tenders resignation

Joel Rae

— Steamboat Springs City Manager Deb Hinsvark says Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae tendered his resignation Friday morning effective Aug. 28.

Rae is on paid administrative leave until July 25, and Hinsvark said Rae will be using vacation time through Aug. 28.

Rae released a statement Friday afternoon.

"I'm leaving with mixed emotions after serving the citizens and visitors of Steamboat Springs for 19 years, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of such a wonderful group of city employees. Although it is hard to leave, I am excited for new opportunities as I move forward. I feel an ideal police chief with a progressive vision will provide the ability to refresh the police department through professional leadership and modern community policing practices and take the dedicated employees of the police department to new heights."

Hinsvark said Rae has offered to provide help during the transition. There will be a nationwide search for a new chief.

Rae and Deputy Chief Bob DelValle have been the subject of an investigation prompted by a letter written by former detective Dave Kleiber. The city hired an independent investigator, Kathy Nuanes, to look into the accusations.

The two men were placed on administrative leave in March.

Hinsvark said DelValle is still on administrative leave until July 25. His future with the city remains unknown.

"One thing at a time," Hinsvark said.

Hinsvark said a summary of Nuanes' reports should be made public after the city council holds an executive session Tuesday night. Hinsvark said "all the lawyers" are in agreement about what the report to the community can look like.

"I would like to get as much as we can," Hinsvark said.

Hinsvark said she had been speaking with Rae since the investigation reports were completed about two weeks ago.

"There have been a lot of conversations back and forth over the past few weeks," Hinsvark said.

Hinsvark said Rae did not ask to see the reports and voluntarily submitted his resignation. Hinsvark said the resignation did not include a severance package.

“He really seems optimistic about the future,” Hinsvark said, adding that Rae seemed very upbeat and positive Friday morning.

Rae and Kleiber could not immediately be reached for comment.

"The city management team will miss Chief Rae's humor, friendship and leadership," Hinsvark said in a news release.

City council president Bart Kounovsky also was quoted in the news release.

"I would like to thank Chief Rae for his many years of service to the community, and I wish him well in his future endeavors," Kounovsky said.

When reached by phone Friday, councilwoman Sonja Macys said council members had been advised not to comment on Rae’s resignation.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland