Sheriff’s office shows lack of accountability

I filed a civil suit against the sheriff’s office under the Colorado Open Records Act. Although the judge found in favor of the sheriff’s department, I feel I came out with answers I was seeking.

I had asked for the accounting records for pretrial services, a service which takes in money from defendants for supervision. My reasons for the request were two-fold: dollar amount and accountability. I wanted to know just how much money they were receiving from clients who are for the vast majority are below the poverty level. Working as a secretary for a local bonding company I have personally witnessed the hardship of this program. Although a financial assessment application is to be used I find it hard to believe a conclusion that these people could afford this.

I unfortunately have seen too many of these defendants fail because of the financial burden the sheriff’s department puts on them. These records do not exist.

In a statement made in open court, Mike Green, the attorney for the sheriff’s department said, “It seems Ms. Simmons thinks the sheriff’s department is run like a business instead of a government office.” My bad, I would like to believe the taxpayers’ money is handled like a business but clearly not. Although I did not receive the records requested I did walk out of court knowing the sheriff’s department personnel have no accountability nor do they think they should.

I would also like to state that I personally feel the department is full of wonderful, hardworking and dedicated people, doing their jobs as instructed. I do not hold the department, nor Lynda Carter, responsible for having no accountability, that falls directly on the man in charge.

Sherry Simmons

Lewis