Newberry receives ten day jail sentence |

Newberry receives ten day jail sentence

Hank Shell

Former Grand County Commissioner James Newberry has been sentenced to ten days in county jail.

Newberry was in court for sentencing on Friday morning, Jan. 8 after pleading no contest to one felony count of embezzlement of public property last December on Nov. 18.

The plea was part of a disposition that saw Newberry resign from his post as commissioner.

“The sentencing today is for all practical purposes the final chapter in the criminal case,” said Patrick Burke, Newberry’s attorney. “I’m sure that James will successfully complete the two years of probation required by the plea agreement at which point the criminal matter will be completely dismissed. James will be moving forward with his life and will continue to contribute to Grand County in whatever way he can.”

Newberry must notify the court of when he intends to start serving his sentence within 90 days.

Additionally, judgment on the embezzlement charge was deferred for two years, during which time Newberry is subject to the supervision of the Grand County Probation Department, according to court documents.

Newberry is also barred from holding any public office during that term and must pay $4,841.39 in restitution.

The sentencing comes almost a year after it was announced that the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office was investigating Newberry over allegations that he was “double-dipping” on mileage reimbursements from Grand County and the Colorado River Water Conservation District, for which he served on the board of directors.

In charging documents, prosecutor and 5th Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown also accused Newberry of double-charging Grand County for mileage and charging for mileage to Northwest Colorado Council of Government meetings that minutes indicate he did not attend.

Brown initially charged Newberry with 24 felony counts of embezzlement of public property, 24 counts of attempting to influence a public servant and five misdemeanor counts of official misconduct, though all but one of those charges were eventually dropped.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.

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