Police Department review partially complete

City: Findings will be released when final report is submitted

City officials have received a partial report from an outside investigator tasked with reviewing the Craig Police Department’s internal affairs policies and procedures.

However, its contents won’t become public until a final draft is complete, City Manager Jim Ferree said.

The Craig City Council ap­­proved hiring Timothy Leary, a former captain and commander of the Denver Police Metro/SWAT Bureau, last year to examine the Police Depart­ment’s internal investigation of former Detective Ken Johnson.

Johnson was the subject of an internal affairs review in March 2009 that ultimately was deemed inconclusive.

He was removed from the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force and suspended, but he remained on active duty with the police department until August.

The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office conducted a separate investigation during the summer that led to Johnson’s arrest and ongoing prosecution.

Johnson faces three felony charges and is scheduled for a jury trial May 24 in Moffat County District Court.

“People are beginning to wonder what we have going on here, and the best way to show them we’re not sweeping anything under the rug or trying to hide anything is to do this,” Mayor Don Jones said in November when Leary was hired.

The mayor said Wednesday he does not think the city’s decision to keep the first draft of Leary’s report private contradicts its intention to assuage public fears that Craig’s leaders are looking the other way when it comes to ACET and the police department.

It’s only a rough draft, Jones said, and Leary was looking for direction and suggestions about what other information might be needed or if he was asking the right questions.

To that end, the mayor added that he was pleased with Leary’s progress.

“I wanted to see what was brought up last night at the workshop and see if anything came up that I wanted him to look at,” Jones said, referring to a public workshop Tuesday that dealt exclusively with a separate independent review of the ACET task force.

“But there was nothing I thought he should look at that was new,” Jones said.

He said he was, however, taken with Routt County commissioner Doug Monger’s idea that the ACET board should include “outside eyes” beyond the high-ranking law enforcement officials who now comprise the board.

It could be difficult to find someone who would keep sensitive investigative information under wraps, Jones said, but he suggested the Craig, Hayden or Steamboat Springs city managers as possibilities.

As for Leary’s report, Ferree said city officials plan to host another public workshop on the findings around mid-February.

He added that all council members were fine with the direction Leary’s inquiry was headed, but he was asked to also roll in suggestions about when the Police Department should seek outside help for its internal affairs investigations.

“I didn’t get any reactions from the city council as far as he was on the wrong track,” Ferree said, adding that he did not receive any comments from law enforcement about the preliminary report.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.

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