New allegation surfaces against former Craig PD officer
December 21, 2011
A new allegation has been made against a former Craig Police Department officer who was fired Dec. 16, authorities reported today.
Jeremy Ashton, a Moffat County Sheriff's Office investigator, said an anonymous person reported to investigators that Frank Schmedeke, 37, engaged in a sexual relationship with a minor in the late 1990s in Mesa County.
Craig Daily Press policy is to withhold names of suspects connected to sexual-related offenses unless there is a conviction. The suspect's name is being used today because he served as a police officer for eight years.
The police department terminated Schmedeke following an internal investigation, which was prompted by an alleged domestic violence incident Nov. 27 at his home in the 1100 block of Legion Street.
The former police officer was arrested in connection with the incident, but the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office later dismissed the case.
Ashton said the anonymous person stepped forward with the latest allegation during the sheriff's office's initial investigation into Schmedeke.
"It got brought to our attention," Ashton said. "I conducted the initial investigation and I am in the process of proofing the new investigation. It will be forwarded to Mesa County and they will have to do the continuation because the (alleged) crime occurred in their jurisdiction."
Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz limited his comments concerning the investigation.
"It's outside of our purview and not within our jurisdiction, so basically we have started a courtesy investigation," Jantz said. "It will be sent to their (Mesa County) agency to continue the investigation.
"Right now, there is no crime. People tend to say a lot of things. We're going to send our info to Mesa County and it's going to be up to them to decide whether or not to investigate it."
Ashton said the alleged victim's age, gender and relationship to Schmedeke would not be released.
"I can confirm that we are investigating it and Mesa County will be taking it over," he said. "However, since it is an ongoing investigation, we will not be releasing any details at this time."
Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta said the new allegation had nothing to do with Schmedeke's firing last week.
"It's a personnel issue and I can only (relay) so much," Vanatta said. "He (Schmedeke) was found to have violated some of our policies and his behavior was inconsistent with our values, and that's why he was terminated."
Ashton said he would be sending findings of his investigation to Mesa County authorities this week.