Craig Marie Peer, Moffat County Social Services director, said the responsibility for oversight on a department employee arrested for alleged drug distribution falls on her office.
Carla Roloff, 57, of Dinosaur, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of unlawful distribution of a Schedule 2 controlled substance, specifically methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony. An All Crimes Enforcement Team news release reported at least one deal was made inside the Social Services office in Dinosaur while Roloff was working.
ACET made the arrest after an investigation that included an undercover buyer.
"Definitely, the department would have responsibility for that," Peer said. "We hire the people and supervise the people.
"I've gone around and around about that. What did we do? What did we not do?"
Peer said Social Services officials made visits to the Dinosaur office on a semi-regular basis and also had Roloff come to the Craig office on occasions.
Roloff was the only employee working at the Dinosaur location. She worked as a clerk, handling program applications from residents and sending them to the Craig office.
Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray said he was unsure what the county could do to prevent a similar situation in the future.
"My feeling is that drugs and meth seems to know no bounds," he said. "It doesn't strike any social class, ethnic class or economic class. No one is immune.
"I don't know what can be done to ensure it doesn't happen again. We can be more vigilant about training and drug-testing."
Gray said he plans to address the long-term issue of how to provide services to Dinosaur soon.
He plans to hold a Commission and town hall meeting there in the near future to ask residents if they would prefer the county hire another Dinosaur resident to work part-time or if they would like a full-time staff member from the Craig office to come once a week.
Coordinating with Rio Blanco County Social Services out of Rangely to provide services and case work also is a possibility, Gray said.
Dinosaur Mayor Freda Powell said methamphetamine is an ongoing issue in her town.
"It is a problem in Dinosaur," she said. "There are several of our citizens that have had problems with it."
She said she was "heart-sick" to learn of Roloff's arrest. She added she didn't have any solutions for fighting addiction.
"I don't know," she said. "I wish there was a miracle."
Peer said her department wants to keep the Dinosaur location open, and sent one department technician there Thursday.
She plans to have one department employee staff the Dinosaur location one day a week until a permanent solution can be found.
Social Services plans to rotate staff members making trips to Dinosaur so that residents can take advantage of their different specializations, such as child care or the Colorado Works program.
Is it safe?
There are no plans to conduct any environmental testing at the office for methamphetamine contamination, officials said.
Methamphetamine smoke has been proven to leave toxic chemicals on walls, floors and objects (such as desks or computers) where the drug is smoked or cooked, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
K.C. Hume, Moffat County Sheriff's Office investigator, said his agency conducted a search of the Social Services Dinosaur office after Roloff's arrest at the department's request.
There were no illegal drugs or paraphernalia found, he said, and no evidence that the grounds had ever been used to manufacture methamphetamine.
ACET Task force Commander Garrett Wiggins said his office's investigation found nothing that would lead him to recommend an environmental test of Roloff's office.
"We don't have any reason to believe meth had ever been used in the office and she certainly wasn't cooking it there," he said.
CaoimhÃn Connell, senior industrial hygienist with Park County-based Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, visited Craig in December to conduct a methamphetamine contamination study on an apartment.
Connell helped the state draft statutes concerning methamphetamine contamination.
Title 25 and Title 16 under Colorado Revised Statutes require that any building proven to have had methamphetamine inside is considered contaminated by law. State statutes also require that building to be cleaned by a licensed industrial hygienist.
Connell added he did not know if government buildings are exempt from certain statutes.
Most law enforcement is unaware of those requirements because it is part of the civil code, not the criminal code, said Connell, who also works as a Park County Sheriff's Office deputy.
He added that given the statements from local law enforcement, he does not think the Social Services Dinosaur office poses a health threat.
"I would say there is a very low probability that there is significant contamination," he said. "Any residual contamination that may be present would probably not be toxicologically significant."
Peer added her office has contacted the Sheriff's Office and asked officials to be aware that her department's staff would be in Dinosaur.
Sheriff Tim Jantz said he has two deputies that cover the Dinosaur area and would be available to respond to any issues. One deputy position exclusively covers a 20-mile radius around the town, and both deputies live in Dinosaur.
Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org