Western Slope Round-Up: Breaking the Rules

Life got a little more complicated for a few people over the Divide. The solutions to their problems won’t be easy either.Routt Top Cop Stopped for DUI
A week ago one evening, a state patrolman pulled over a vehicle when its driver failed to dim his headlights for the passing patrol car. The driver was the Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall in his county-owned vehicle returning home from a Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association event.

What ensued has not been made public, but a second state patrol car had to be called and now the sheriff faces charges of DUI and prohibitive use of a weapon, Class 1 misdemeanors, according to The Steamboat Springs Pilot.

Maybe it’s stress-related or something – the Wall joins a list of other Western Slope law enforcement officials in trouble. Sexual allegations are pending against the Aspen Police chief and the Delta Police chief recently resigned abruptly after one year in office.

Feds Taking Over Possible Embezzlement Case
A “substantial” amount of money has been taken from the Alamosa Housing Authority, according to the district attorney’s office and the Alamosa Police, and since the case involved federal funds, the case will be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney’s office The Valley Courier has reported.

Charges of embezzlement are pending against the Alamosa Housing Authority director Patricia Martinez and others may be involved. The housing authority operates under U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) jurisdiction. The director has been with the authority for 18 years and is now on paid administrative leave.

The board of directors for the housing authority assured HUD residents that their housing vouchers are not in danger because of the investigation.

Let’s hope the actions of one individual did not leave anyone out in the cold.

Failed Commissioner Recall Mired in Lawsuits
This past summer there was a recall attempt against Montrose County Commissioner Bill Patterson.

Petitions were handed in, but since the Montrose County Clerk ruled that most of the signatures were not valid, the recall failed to get on the ballot. The Patterson Recall Committee has since filed a lawsuit against the clerk stating that she applied state laws that were unconstitutional.

But wait, there’s more.

In a Montrose Press story, Patterson’s attorneys have filed a complaint with the Colorado Secretary of State noting the recall committee might have violated the Fair Campaign Practices Act by failing to report campaign contributions and expenditures as required under statute. They claim the Patterson Recall Committee is listed with the SOS as an issue committee; therefore it must disclose contributions and expenditures under Colorado law.

The Patterson recall was first announced in May by state Rep. Ray Rose, R-Montrose, who is now stepping down from his seat in part because of the heat from his association with the backfired recall attempt.

It seems the only parties benefitting from the Montrose mess are the lawyers.