No indictments: Grand jury declines to indict anyone in Dinosaur investigation |

No indictments: Grand jury declines to indict anyone in Dinosaur investigation

A dinosaur statue greets a passing car on a quiet Saturday afternoon at the center of Dinosaur. Originally named Artesia, residents renamed the town in 1965.
Hans Hallgren

A grand jury has completed its months-long investigation into the Dinosaur Town Council.

In a news release Monday, April 29, the 14th Judicial District Grand Jury investigating the Dinosaur Town Council announced it will not be indicting anyone as part of their investigation.

“The Grand Jury for the 14th Judicial District concluded its investigation of actions of the Dinosaur town board surrounding the town’s enforcement of an ordinance prohibiting camping and its termination of the Town Marshal,” the news release said. “The Grand Jury declined to issue an indictment and instead decided to produce a report of its investigation.”

Several Dinosaur residents contacted the Craig Press in January alleging financial mismanagement of increased tax monies related to Dinosaur’s legalized recreational marijuana initiative. The residents also were outraged over the firing of Darren Reed, Dinosaur’s town marshal and only police officer.

In January, the Craig Press reported two of Moffat County Sheriff K.C. Hume’s deputies assisted 14th Judicial District Attorney investigators in what Hume called a criminal investigation into the Dinosaur Town Council. The Craig Press requested a search warrant affidavit that had possibly been executed on the town council, but the newspaper was denied access to the warrant, which was sealed by Moffat County Judge Sandra Gardner. The Craig Press requested on Monday the affidavit be unsealed as the investigation is complete, but a judge did not make a ruling on that motion by press time Tuesday.

About a month after the Craig Press’ January report, the Dinosaur Town Council took a second taxpayer-funded trip Thursday, Feb. 28, to Steamboat Springs to testify before the grand jury regarding the sealed investigation into the small town of about 300.

Earlier this month, the town council hired Larry Elarton as it’s new town marshal — a former chief of police in Rangely and the town of Bethel, Alaska, and a new deputy to assist Elarton.

The news release said officials plan to release a report of their investigation to the public after certain individuals are given a chance to comment on it.

“As required by law, that report will be submitted to the District Court for the 14th Judicial District for a determination as to whether the report may be released publicly,” the news release said. “Also as required by law, individuals named in the report will be given an opportunity to comment on it and those comments will be forwarded to the District Court for its consideration prior to any decision to release the report to the public.”

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