Sheriff candidate Magnuson takes on Braudis, drugs and education

Aspen Times Staff
Artist Rick Magnuson and Anne-Marie Cales of Stanfield Fine Art admire Ronnie Morgan’s collection.

Pitkin County Sheriff candidate Rick Magnuson is on the offensive, attacking incumbent Bob Braudis’ record and using those allegations to support his campaign platform. Magnuson claims in a statement released Monday that Braudis has falsely reported the number of car stops made by his department. He further contends that Braudis has made inaccurate statements about his department’s drug budget and educational programs in the schools.Magnuson believes the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office should have a deputy assigned to the Aspen School District. The Aspen Police Department currently has two officers assigned to the schools. “In the post-Columbine era,” Magnuson wrote, “law enforcement must cultivate open lines of communications with students and teachers.”Magnuson also zeros in on drug use in the community, saying that dozens of people have become addicted or overdosed during Braudis’ tenure. (He did not quote statistics or cite where he got that information.) Magnuson goes on to argue that the sheriff’s office has been passive about drug use and has been unwilling to arrest and convict drug dealers. He proposes an upper-valley substance abuse team called “Yellow,” which would be a collaboration between various valley nonprofits and law enforcement agencies. Braudis refused comment on Monday, but agreed to discuss the issues raised by Magnuson’s press release Tuesday.