Steamboat City Council scheduled to discuss police investigation findings behind closed doors | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat City Council scheduled to discuss police investigation findings behind closed doors

Scott Franz

A Steamboat Springs Police vehicle leaves the current police station in June.

— Steamboat Springs City Manager Deb Hinsvark said Thursday she has not yet made a decision about the future of Police Chief Joel Rae and Deputy Police Chief Bob DelValle, who have been on paid administrative leave since March.

Hinsvark said while she has started to review some of the evidence and raw data from the probe into the accusations of misconduct against Rae and DelValle, the city hasn’t yet received the final reports from an independent investigator.

She said the final reports are expected within the next two weeks.

“Until I see the final reports, my mind is absolutely open,” Hinsvark said. “The only decision I’ve made is that, going forward, we’re going to have the happiest and best police department on the face of the Earth. Steamboat is a town that deserves absolutely the best.”

Hinsvark and City Attorney Tony Lettunich have requested to meet with the Steamboat Springs City Council in executive session Tuesday night to discuss two “conclusionary reports” the city has received from the investigator.

Hinsvark said the reports are the ones that are the “most directly related to the council.”

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She said she could not be more specific about the reports.

“These are the council’s reports, and the council can do what it wants to do with them. It’s their data, “Hinsvark said. “We have to honor that the council needs to have time to review and absorb and understand the reports and be prepared on Tuesday night to make a statement.”

Hinsvark added a news release should be issued immediately after the meeting.

The city manager said the investigator has indicated a public, executive summary of the investigation’s findings is the last report that will be written.

Several council members said Thursday they hadn’t received any updates on the police investigation in recent weeks.

“We haven’t received any communication on it for as long as I can remember,” Council member Sonja Macys said.

Macys and council member Tony Connell also were unaware of the executive session that was recently added to Tuesday’s agenda.

The police investigation was spurred by accusations a former police detective made against Rae and DelValle.

Dave Kleiber, a former Steamboat Springs Police Department detective, accused the men of creating a hostile work environment.

In the letter, Kleiber also described an "Atmosphere of Fear and Intimidation," "rampant sexism," ‘bigotry" and "heavy-handed policing."

The city received additional complaints from other individuals, which were also investigated.

The city hired an independent investigator, Kathy Nuanes, to look into the accusations.

Nuanes completed interviews for the investigation in early June.

The last time the council discussed the investigation was during an executive session on April 13.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10