Breaking news: Wegener resigning as ParkCo sheriff

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CanyonCourier created the topic: Breaking news: Wegener resigning as ParkCo sheriff 02 Aug 2018 20:37 #1

Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener is resigning five months before the official end of his term and will be replaced by Tom McGraw, one of five Republicans who campaigned to replace him and who ultimately won the GOP primary in late June.

Wegener’s resignation also includes the exit of current undersheriff Dave Wohlers, who said he hasn’t figured out where he will land after McGraw is formally sworn-in as interim sheriff by the Park County board of commissioners on Sept. 4.

McGraw confirmed that he will take over next month and said he has selected Detective Cpl. Steve Spodyak, who McGraw defeated in the primary, as his undersheriff.

Read more here: www.canyoncourier.com/content/wegener-resigning-parkco-sheriff
By Sal Christ
Thursday, August 2, 2018

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CanyonCourier replied the topic: Breaking news: Wegener resigning as ParkCo sheriff 03 Aug 2018 09:57 #2

I want to add some transparency here about my coverage of Wegener's resignation, especially in response to criticism that the *why* isn't more detailed. Rumors of Wegener's early resignation have been floating around since at least March of this year. The Courier followed-up and vetted the legitimacy of those rumors several times. On numerous occasions, Wegener denied that he was stepping down prior to the expiration of his term — up until this past weekend. I spent all week chasing him down trying to get official comment on his resignation, which I finally got yesterday. Most of yesterday was also spent chasing down other folks for their take on it, including current undersheriff Dave Wohlers.

There is only so much cajoling one can do when it comes to details about professional and political exits, save for requesting access to open records (i.e. evaluations, complaints, etc.) At *this* point, my understanding is that Wegener was not forced to resign. Wohlers, on the other hand, did not resign — as is reflected in the reporting. My understanding is that he's simply out of a job because the soon-to-be interim sheriff wanted to pick his own undersheriff and Wohlers wasn't offered another position.

Some things to keep in mind: The PCSO has historically been evasive and avoidant when it comes to dealing with the media — it's been this way for at least the past 2.5 to 3 years. We have reported on this pretty extensively where the Maggie Long case is concerned. Second, no Democrats challenged the FIVE Republican candidates for Park County sheriff earlier this year. To my knowledge, no independent candidates filed petitions to get on the November ballot, either. As such, the winner of the June primary election — Tom McGraw — will very likely be the next sheriff in Park County. Following the election, Wegener brought McGraw on as a reserve deputy and McGraw (by his own admission) began getting more involved with the department.

Should we have included that last detail in the article? Probably. We'll make sure it goes in print next week. Now, don't get me wrong. I think the process of Wegener resigning, recommending McGraw as his interim replacement & McGraw's selection of Steve Spodyak as his undersheriff could have been more public — especially given Wegener's endorsement of Spodyak earlier this year. I'm always for more transparency when it comes to government and public bodies, as well as people in positions of power. However, all of the above are not necessarily transparent when they're not legally required to be. Some are, some are not.

If all of this = tl;dr, the major point is this: We asked why & we dug around for reasons why Wegener resigned early — we didn't find anything that suggests he was forced out. Even after pressing him, he didn't share much, save for the fact that he's retiring and moving FL.

-Sal Christ

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FredHayek replied the topic: Breaking news: Wegener resigning as ParkCo sheriff 03 Aug 2018 15:50 #3

Hopefully the new Sheriff in town will be much more willing to keep media and citizens informed.


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