Craig City Council praises probe of Police Department

Other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council also:

■ Approved, 6-0, renewing the liquor license for Cugino’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant at 572 Breeze St.

■ Approved, 6-0, granting a special event liquor license for Grand Olde West Days at the Moffat County Fairgrounds and the city parking lot at 400 Yampa Ave.

■ Approved, 6-0, a bid to redesign the city’s Web page from Front Range Internet for $7,850.

■ Approved, 6-0, allocating $72,525 for gravel to Craig Road and Bridge from Connell Resources.

■ Approved, 6-0, allocating $231,336 for a new garbage truck assembled in two parts. The side load collection body will be purchased from Faris Machinery and the cab and chassis from Rush Truck Center.

■ Approved, 6-0, a bid with TLC Carpet One for $4,360.26 for tile to replace the carpet in the administrative area at the Moffat County Public Safety Center.

■ Approved, 6-0, ordinance No. 1002 to carry over budgeted 2009 projects or commitments not accomplished in 2009 into the 2010 budget.

— Timothy Leary says “the public critic is not an adversary.”

His thoughts echoed the feelings of the Craig City Council on Tuesday night as it heard Leary’s report on the Craig Police Department’s internal affairs investigation of former police officer Ken Johnson in a public workshop before the regular city council meeting.

Leary, who found “absolutely no evidence to show that the command staff of the Craig Police Department engaged in any attempt to conceal or cover up any wrongful conduct of Ken Johnson,” gave a summary of his report, answered council member questions and addressed their concerns in front of a small group of residents.

Johnson resigned in September 2009, was arrested later that month and charged with three felonies.

He reportedly broke the law while involved in a sexual relationship with a local woman convicted of drug use and distribution.

He is accused of providing that woman with information about ongoing law enforcement investigations and helping her violate probation.

Throughout the presentation, Leary maintained a theme of openness, clarity and accountability of the police to the council on the matter.

He also praised the council and city manager Jim Ferree for their concern in the matter and decision to hire an investigator.

“It’s extremely important to take it upon yourselves to ask for an explanation because everyone is disturbed when an official violates the public trust,” Leary said.

Mayor Don Jones expressed gratitude to Leary for the in-depth investigation and suggestions he recommended.

Other council members agreed with Jones’ feelings.

“I, as a city council person, feel this is the only way to let the community know we are doing everything we can,” council member Joe Herod said.

Leary agreed.

“It’s important that the council take the time to review the case and investigation to show (the council) is concerned,” he said.

Council member Byron Willems was pleased the outcome of the investigation was “the same story they had gotten from the beginning.”

“Everything has been so honest and forward,” Willems said. “Yeah, so, a few things need to be tweeked, but what doesn’t? We needed to do away with the ‘swept under the rug thing.’”

Leary also pointed out that the council, police and community shouldn’t “dwell on hindsight” and that “every wrongful conduct is an opportunity to learn and improve the level of service delivered to the community.”

“The police and public are going to be better for (this report),” council member Ray Beck said. “The police will continue to be a part of the community, and the public trust will come back over time.

“We can’t always do something so good that we can’t do it better.”

Comments

winterbottom 4 years, 2 months ago

If I were a reporter here I would truly enjoy listening to Byron speak. Byron, if you're reading this, please don't ever go away. Your carefully worded insights are always an insightful revelation.

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