Allegations against Garfield Co. sheriff to go to DA’s office |

Allegations against Garfield Co. sheriff to go to DA’s office

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Garfield County commissioners agreed Monday to refer allegations of inappropriate conduct by Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario to the district attorney’s office.

The action came after commissioners were asked how they would like to proceed on the matter by County Attorney Don Deford.

Both commissioners John Martin and Tresi Houpt received an e-mail last week, as did area news agencies, alleging that Vallario and a sheriff’s office detention deputy were romantically involved. The e-mail also made allegations of favoritism within the sheriff’s office.

Commissioners forwarded the message to Deford for review.

Deford told commissioners Monday that some of the allegations could amount to “criminal conduct” and asked what direction the commissioners would like to take on the matter.

Martin recused himself from the discussion, citing personal reasons that he said create a conflict of interest.

Martin’s daughter, Lisa Martin, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the sheriff’s office in May 2008. That suit was sent back to state court by a federal judge last August.

With Martin absent from the discussion, commissioners Tresi Houpt and Mike Samson voted to refer the matter to the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for further investigation.

See Tuesday’s Aspen Times for more on the commissioners’ decision.

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