Senior law enforcement officials push back on claims made by former Kremmling town manager | SkyHiNews.com

Senior law enforcement officials push back on claims made by former Kremmling town manager

One of Kremmling's patrol cars sits in front of the Kremmling Police Department.

Senior law enforcement officials in Grand County spoke out this week to rebut claims former Kremmling Town Manager David Stahl recently made in his letter of resignation.

Stahl tendered his resignation as lead administrator for Grand County's westernmost municipality Oct. 10, citing safety concerns as the reason for his departure. He specifically referenced events surrounding the arrest of Kremmling resident Robert Mark Smith, which happened less than a week before Stahl resigned.

Stahl told Sky-Hi News on Oct. 17 that he believed someone informed Smith of the planned police action prior to the arrest.

Kremmling Chief of Police Jamie Lucas and Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin issued a statement to Sky-Hi News earlier this week addressing Stahl's accusations.

"It is very concerning to me as the town of Kremmling's Police Chief and to Sheriff Brett Schroetlin to read in the news the unfounded, baseless and without merit comments that David Stahl cited 'safety concerns' as one of his reasons for resigning as the town manager," the statement read.

The statement from the two officials explained that both their respective agencies, along with others, began planning to arrest Smith after it was discovered Smith was shipping "a large quantity of ammunition" to himself through the U.S. Postal Service. That act was a violation of Smith's probation "among other offenses," according to law enforcement officials.

"Our goal collectively was to thoroughly investigate the case against Smith and to safely apprehend him, with his safety and the safety of the entire public being the utmost priority to us as law enforcement, in addition, to the safety of all officers involved in the arrest and search of Smith's property," the statement read. "The fact Smith's apprehension occurred without incident, no one being injured nor having a standoff is a testament of the well thought out and organized planning that went into the execution of this operation that secured the arrest of the defendant safely."

The letter went on to directly address Stahl's claims that Smith knew of the impending police plans to apprehend Smith, noting that nothing was found to indicate “or that even gives rise to any improprieties” on behalf of anyone involved with the investigation, arrest or search of Smith's property as alleged by Stahl.

"In addition, Stahl, if truly felt concern, has failed to give law enforcement personnel the opportunity to sit down with him to fully address and investigate any perceived safety concerns he has, especially any unethical, improper or criminal conduct that he may feel occurred internally,” the statement read.

Lucas said Monday that his department conducted a preliminary investigation into Stahl's claims and found nothing to support the allegation that Smith was aware of the police action ahead of time. The preliminary investigation found no indication that any information was “leaked out by anybody,” according to Lucas.

"We encourage David (Stahl), if he has information, to come talk to us so we can follow up," Lucas said. "We would love to sit down with him and talk about it. That is how serious we take it."

Stahl declined to comment on this story.

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