Gunnison Sheriff Rick Besecker takes the incident of one of his deputies working without his permission at Bill Koch's Bear Ranch seriously.
"We take any allegation as serious," Besecker stated.
That's why he contacted the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to look into the circumstances. "They determined there were no criminal acts."
The sheriff then looked into the deputy's actions to see if they violated policy and procedures. "We conducted an internal investigation. We discovered through the process that there had been policies that were fractured but not in a flagrant manner. We responded to our findings appropriately. The deputy was able to retain his position."
There are specific rules against an off-duty officer working security without the Gunnison Sheriff's knowledge and authorization.
Deputy Bill Hart was not in his uniform at Bear Ranch, but was in a patrol car.
An October civil suit by former Oxbow Carbon executive Kirby Martensen alleges that he was kidnapped and held against his will last March at Bear Ranch. Martensen alleges he was told the sheriff's deputy was there if he tried to leave the ranch. Oxbow denies those allegations.
"By [Hart's] knowledge he was just there conducting security. He was not under advisement that ... if he was called on, that he would arrest someone," Besecker said. "This has nothing to do with the civil process with whatever took place behind closed doors. He was not aware nor did he participate in it."
Besecker said Hart was not instructed to observe anything in particular.
Hart's discipline includes a one-day suspension and he will teach a 2013 class on ethics.
Hart formerly worked for the Paonia Police Department.blog comments powered by Disqus