Interim police chief releases a report from police investigation
July 28, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Interim Police Chief Jerry DeLong on Monday released the police investigation report that dealt with alleged mismanagement of the city’s police pension fund.
Meanwhile, DeLong is reviewing other reports from the investigation to determine if they will be released.
“Report 1” provides details about how independent investigator Kathy Nuanes determined the city’s police pension fund was not being financially mismanaged.
After interviewing city staff and a financial advisor, Nuanes specifically determined a $34,000 purchase of police cameras did not come from the police pension forfeiture account.
Nuanes also determined a financial adviser is available at the police department twice a year to help with member questions and investment planning.
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While the report gives the public a glimpse into a piece of Nuanes’ investigation, a majority of the six reports prepared from the investigation that focused on serious accusations against Police Chief Joel Rae and Deputy Chief Bob DelValle remain unavailable to the public.
Several Steamboat Springs City Council members said Thursday they were not satisfied with the amount of information they and the public have received about the investigation so far.
On July 10, Steamboat Today filed a records request for all of the reports prepared by Nuanes.
The city has since released a vague community summary of Nuanes’ six reports, the pension report and a summary of “Report 6,” which included suggested policy and procedure changes that could be made to improve the police department.
City attorney Tony Lettunich wrote July 15 the reports by Nuanes are criminal justice records, and he forwarded the open records request to DeLong, the custodian of criminal justice records at the police department.
Chris Beall, a lawyer for Steamboat Today, wrote a letter to Lettunich telling the city attorney he did not think the Nuanes’ reports qualify as criminal justice records because they were not prepared by criminal justice agency.
He asked Lettunich to reconsider his decision not to release the reports related to the investigation.
In an email Monday, Lettunich said he had reviewed state statutes and several previous court decisions and concluded the Nuanes investigation is a criminal justice record.
“Nuanes Consulting was hired as a surrogate for the Steamboat Springs Police Department to conduct the internal affairs investigation, primarily because the police chief, deputy police chief, and city manager were all named in the allegations by complainants and could not direct the investigation as part of the department,” Lettunich wrote. “Katherine Nuanes had 30 years as a police officer, the last number of years as head of internal affairs investigations for the City of Arvada.”
Lettunich said DeLong would review all of Nuanes’ reports and conduct the required balancing test to determine if more reports will be released.
Lettuinch said Tuesday he expected Delong could release “Report 2”, which focused on the city manager and the city attorney’s involvement in the investigation, Wednesday.