Grand County Commissioner Newberry’s arraignment continued
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — Grand County Commissioner James Newberry’s arraignment has been continued to July 9 at 9:30 a.m.
Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown, special prosecutor in the case, said his office still did not have all of the documentation that it needed to review for its investigation during a hearing on Tuesday morning, May 26, in 14th Judicial District Court.
The hearing was originally set for disposition.
Brown noted three possibilities for the July hearing, stating that he would either continue with the disposition, file a revised complaint or that Newberry would enter a not guilty plea.
Brown added that it was “conceivable” that a revised complaint could include charges that cannot be adjudicated in Grand County Court, ostensibly meaning felonies.
Newberry currently faces one count of official misconduct, a class-2 misdemeanor, in relation to allegations that he billed both Grand County and the Colorado River Water Conservation District for the same mileage to attend district meetings.
Newberry “double-dipped” around $1,800, Brown previously told the Sky-Hi News.
A person familiar with the case told the Sky-Hi News that a deferred prosecution agreement had been reached before that charge was filed and that Newberry would repay the money and not enter a plea.
But documents obtained by the Sky-Hi News from the 5th Judicial District’s investigation for that case raised additional questions about Newberry’s mileage reimbursements.
Mileage forms seemed to show that Newberry had double-charged Grand County for mileage as well as charging for mileage to meetings that minutes indicate he did not attend or attended by phone. The documents showed Newberry accrued more than $1,500 between 2009 and 2013 for questionable mileage.
The Sky-Hi News confronted Newberry with the documents on Monday, May 18.
On May 20, Newberry issued an apology, blaming the inaccuracies on his “bookkeeping / reporting skills,” and stating that he had repaid the money.
Grand County Finance Director Scott Berger said Newberry had paid the county $1547.37.
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Officials with the US Forest Service are refuting reports they’re close to pinpointing what or who caused the massive East Troublesome Fire in Grand County.