Kremmling police chief charged with multiple counts of misconduct, false reporting | SkyHiNews.com

Kremmling police chief charged with multiple counts of misconduct, false reporting

Kremmling Police Chief Jamie Lucas reacts during a special town council meeting at Kremmling Town Hall in December.
Eli Pace / epace@skyhinews.com

After an investigation into the actions of Kremmling Police Chief Jamie Lucas, the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has decided to press charges.

According to a Friday news release from the DA’s office, Lucas is facing 15 charges, including four counts each of first degree official misconduct, second degree official misconduct and official oppression, and three counts of false reporting to authorities.

Timeline of events

Dec. 4 – Grand County Sheriff’s Office takes over the investigation into an alleged case of animal abuse involving three juveniles.

Dec. 13 – Fraser Winter Park Police Chief Glen Trainor confirms his department is investigating Kremmling Police Chief Jamie Lucas for potential misconduct.

Dec. 20 – The town of Kremmling places Lucas on paid administrative leave after receiving a letter from the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office that Lucas had been Brady listed.

Jan. 2 – The DA’s office reviewed the Fraser Winter Park Police Department’s investigation after it was completed in December.

Jan. 22 – In response to the allegations of misconduct, Lucas takes a polygraph and requests a special prosecutor. The DA refutes Lucas’ claims.

All of the charges are misdemeanors with the exception of second degree official misconduct, which is a petty offense. A court date has not yet been set.

“The decision to file charges in this matter is based on the fundamental principle that the law applies equally to all persons, regardless of their occupation, and that we all share a common obligation to abide (by) the law,” District Attorney Matt Karzen said in the release.

Reached over the phone Friday, Lucas’ attorney, Jeffrey Eidsness, said his client will look to the court for a resolution.

“We have nothing but faith in the judicial process and we look forward to addressing those allegations in the court system,” Eidsness said.

Lucas was placed under investigation in December after allegations that he mishandled an animal abuse case, in which three juveniles are alleged to have killed a cat on a property outside Kremmling town limits in October.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office initiated the investigation and the DA’s office requested it be completed by the Fraser Winter Park Police Department.

Lucas previously confirmed he charged the juveniles with disturbing the peace on Nov. 5 and fined them $500 each through Kremmling’s municipal court system.

For each juvenile Lucas cited, he was charged with one count of first degree official misconduct, second degree official misconduct and official oppression, according to the complaint filed by the district attorney.

Lucas faces similar charges for a separate incident on Nov. 1.

The DA’s complaint also says Lucas was charged with three counts of false reporting to authorities for statements he made to the Fraser Winter Park Police Department during its investigation.

“As part of this investigation, members of the Fraser Winter Park Police Department reviewed official records, collected numerous items of evidence, and interviewed over a dozen potential witnesses including both law enforcement officers and civilians,” Fraser Winter Park Police wrote in a Friday news release that added no other information would be released.

Lucas has maintained he is being targeted by the DA and that he investigated the animal abuse case with the permission of Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin.

On Friday, the sheriff’s office issued a statement acknowledging the DA had filed charges against Lucas and thanking the community for its patience during the process.

“Kremmling is a thriving part of our county and we will continue to work with the Kremmling Police Department and town board during this time,” the sheriff’s office wrote before declining to offer any other comments on the case.

The town of Kremmling placed Lucas on paid administrative leave on Dec. 20.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with comments from Lucas’ attorney, the Fraser Winter Park Police Department and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.



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