Top 5 most-read stories last week: Two multi-thousand dollar lawsuits; inside the tumultuous sheriff’s race | AspenTimes.com
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Top 5 most-read stories last week: Two multi-thousand dollar lawsuits; inside the tumultuous sheriff’s race

We’ve rounded up the top five most-read stories on Aspentimes.com from last week.

1.) Fallout between sheriff, challenger came after Bumps fundraiser turned into teen party

Michael Buglione’s failure to chaperone a fundraiser for one of his daughter’s high school clubs in March 2019 not only cost him his job as a deputy, but it also sacked his 40-year friendship with the Pitkin County sheriff he is trying to unseat in the November elections — Joe DiSalvo.

DiSalvo is seeking his fourth four-year term as sheriff. In 2010, he amassed 79.2% of the vote in his first election win, which came against Patrick Leonard, who had law-enforcement experience in Florida and New York. DiSalvo ran unchallenged in 2014, and, in 2018, he easily fended off opponent and then-Aspen police officer Walter Chi by garnering 78.5% of the vote.



Buglione is the third lawman DiSalvo will face in the general sheriff’s election — but the first one who is the sheriff’s former brother in-law. DiSalvo and Buglione met each other 40 years ago in New York, where they grew up and became close friends, later working together at the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

— Rick Carroll




2.) Six-figure settlement over dog bite comes 6 1/2 years after attack at Aspen business

A dog-bite victim’s attempts to collect an unpaid six-figure judgment in her favor has resulted in parties agreeing to a settlement of $225,000, according to filings in the U.S. District Court of Denver.

The victim of the attack, former Aspenite and current midvalley resident Linda Hassall, expressed relief on Wednesday the matter was nearing an end after languishing in the court system for more than four and a half years — after she suffered the attack over six years ago. 

“It’s unfortunate that this happened,” she said, “and it happened when I went to work one day, and I was just doing my job. I didn’t promote this or provoke it. I was just doing my job.”

— Rick Carroll

3.) As election looms, state digs into sheriff’s link to vodka company

Incumbent Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo and challenger Michael Buglione have plenty of campaign talking points, whether concerning the current jailhouse’s operations and if the facility should be replaced, their approach to law enforcement and other aspects of the job.

Typical sheriff’s race stuff, but only in Pitkin County will voters hear the state is investigating the sheriff’s stake in a vodka company under the majority ownership of Lance Armstrong and another Aspen resident.

The Colorado Department of Revenue confirmed it is examining DiSalvo’s association with Lift Vodka, which was founded by Armstrong and another Aspen partner.

— Rick Carroll

4.) Family sues Skico over deposit for wedding nixed due to Covid restrictions

Aspen Skiing Co. faces civil allegations over its alleged refusal to refund a near $60,000 down payment to a family that booked and cancelled a wedding event at the Little Nell because of pandemic restrictions. 

Claims against Skico in a lawsuit filed in Pitkin County District Court by Iowa resident Cynthia Baxter and her daughter, Kayla Baxter of Syracuse, New York, include breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Other claims relate to civil fraud, not acting in good faith and negligent misrepresentation.

Skico declined to comment, citing company policy to not publicly talk about active litigation. The company also has not formally responded to the suit.

— Rick Carroll

5.) How the 10th Mountain Division soldiers became legends

If you like skiing, riding and your overall freedom, the 10th Mountain Division deserves a big thanks. And, the opportunity to learn more about the historical unit is an easy drive away — at Camp Hale.

On Sept. 9, Wilderness Workshop, in conjunction with 10th Mountain Division Living History, gave a free, six-hour driving and walking tour of Camp Hale.

Educators will offer more tours, albeit just 2 ½ hours this time, twice on Saturday at 10 and 10:30 a.m. at the entrance of Camp Hale as part of a rally for the proposed Camp Hale-Continental Divide national monument.

— Kimberly Nicoletti

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