Records request leads to criminal investigation of Fremont County clerk

News5 (Colorado Springs): Cañon City police confirmed to News 5 that they have an open criminal investigation into Katie Barr, the Fremont County Clerk and Recorder.

The investigation was launched following an inquiry submitted by News 5 back in September.

Over the summer, News 5 Investigates received a tip that Barr was potentially mismanaging county finances for her own personal gain and then allegedly altering the books to cover it up. Tuesday, Cañon City police executed search warrants related to the case.

“We have a large number of records that we are going through,” Chief Daric Harvey said. “This investigation came to light as a result of a request from KOAA Channel 5 asking for some documents from county government and that sparked a conversation between county government and the police department to look at some of the improprieties Channel 5 asked about.”

According to the Fremont County Board of Commissioners, Barr has voluntarily removed herself from the operations of the Clerk and Recorder while the investigation continues. Chief Deputy Dotty Gardunio is fulfilling the duties of the elected office.

The Fremont County Board of Commissioners sent a press release Wednesday morning that reads, “The County Commissioners took immediate steps to place additional financial safeguards in place. In addition, a review of every department and every elected official’s office will be conducted in the near future concerning cash handling and banking activities.”

The release goes on to say, “We exercise great caution with respect to all county financial operations. We take appropriate actions when new information comes to light, which is the reason we contacted the Cañon City Police Department.”

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