Dinosaur marshal ‘shocked’
Former cop says he did nothing wrong
June 26, 2006
The former Dinosaur town marshal being investigated by the District Attorney’s Office said Monday that he is shocked by the allegations against him.
Russell “Wayne” Eller also said some of the allegations, including the claim that Eller told people he worked for the FBI and CIA, are “outright lies.”
“I have been severely wronged,” Eller said.
Eller was Dinosaur’s marshal from March until June, when town officials fired him.
The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is investigating Eller for “attempt to influence a public servant,” a Class 4 felony, according to court documents.
District Attorney’s Office officials say Eller may have lied on his resume and that he lied about his workload to get a raise.
No charges have been filed against Eller.
The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office served a search warrant on Eller’s patrol car and office earlier this month.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Stern said investigators are reviewing information uncovered in the search and that prosecutors have not made a decision about filing charges.
Eller, 55, of Steamboat Springs, said Monday that he never lied about his workload as marshal.
When he started as marshal, Eller said he expected to work 40 to 45 hours per week.
“I put in a lot more than that,” he said. “I put in 55-plus every week I was there.”
An investigation into Eller’s workload by District Attorney’s Office investigator Joseph De—-Angelo turned up evidence that Eller had been falsifying his time sheets, according to court documents.
Eller said part of the confusion about the hours he worked stems from nights he left his patrol car parked at the marshal’s office and patrolled on a bicycle.
He said there were also days when he was at his home in Steamboat and received calls about problems in Dinosaur.
Rather than make the more than 130-mile drive from his home to Dinosaur, Eller said he called residents on the phone to make sure everything was alright.
“Whether I’m working on the telephone or whether I’m in person, I’m still working,” Eller said.
Eller said he never asked the Dinosaur Town Council for a raise but asked them to review his salary and discuss benefits.
“That was not an attempt to coerce or influence them,” Eller said.
With the expense of staying in a motel in Dinosaur on some nights he worked, the $2,500 a month salary wasn’t enough, he said.
Discrepancies about his past employment also are easy to explain, Eller said.
The resume Eller gave to the town of Dinosaur stated that he worked for 12 years at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina.
Eller worked for the department for four years as a reserve deputy, according to court documents.
Eller said Monday that he couldn’t remember exactly how many years he worked for Rowan County but that it was definitely more than four.
For some of his time there, Eller said he wasn’t on the payroll but was helping the department in an undercover capacity.
Eller hasn’t hired an attorney and said he doesn’t have any immediate plans to do so.
“I know I haven’t done anything wrong,” he said. “Right will be done in the end.”