Silt trustee pleads guilty to harassment
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Bobby Hays doesn’t plan on resigning from his role as a Silt town trustee despite pleading guilty to misdemeanor harassment in a stalking case Thursday.
He said he would not be forced to resign from being a trustee or from his job at the Glenwood Springs Community Center because he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, not a felony. He maintains the stalking allegations have nothing to do with his service as a town trustee.
“I have no intention of resigning,” he said. “There’s no reason for me to resign.”
Silt town administrator Betsy Suerth agreed that Hays most likely would be able to keep his trustee seat. She said the town charter reads that a person would only be removed only if “convicted while in office of a felony or of any misdemeanor offense for abuse of public office.”
Voters re-elected Hays to the town board in the April 2007 election.
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In court Thursday, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge; a felony stalking charge was dismissed. District Judge Denise Lynch sentenced him to one year of unsupervised probation and $196 in court fines and costs, and ordered him to obey a restraining order.
Hays’ attorney, Greg Greer, said, “Bobby didn’t want to go forward on a felony trial and just wanted to put this behind him. He was never involved in anything more than driving by a number of times.”
Garfield County deputies arrested Hays on Aug. 8, 2007, when a woman said Hays followed her home from a softball game and was blocking her driveway. A deputy arrived at the Glenwood Springs home and contacted Hays in a blue Ford Ranger down the street, an arrest affidavit says.
Greer said that in questioning later on, the woman conceded that Hays was never on her property and she actually pulled in front of him and contacted him.
“She’s the one that reacted to him just simply being on the street,” Greer said. “He came back on his own to contact police and clear it up.”
The woman told deputies that Hays had been following her and driving by her house since 2000. She made a report to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in 2002 that said Hays was following her, she was scared he would hurt her, and that Hays told her that God told him they were married, the affidavit says. The woman told deputies that she tried to get a restraining order against Hays previously but was unsuccessful.
In the months after the arrest, Hays pleaded not guilty to the charges and called the allegations “bogus.”
Meanwhile, the woman wrote in court papers, “This has had an effect on every part of my life. I am continually looking over my shoulder to see if Bobby Hays is lurking in the shadows.”
A letter from a Carbondale couple to the courts and prosecutors asked for a “permanent restraining order.” It says they met Hays at a Glenwood Springs church. The couple wrote that church leaders were counseling Hays in relation to the stalking allegations, but the church eventually asked him not to return, at which point he began parking his vehicle across the street during church functions.
Despite the stalking allegations and the media coverage of them, Silt voters re-elected Hays to the Silt Board of Town Trustees on April 1. Four trustee seats were being sought by five candidates. Hays received the second-lowest number of votes at 246. Peggy Tibbetts, unsuccessful in her efforts, got 199 votes. Her husband, Town Trustee Tod Tibbetts, spearheaded an unsuccessful recall effort against Mayor Dave Moore in the same election.
Hays was elected to serve a two-year term.
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