Editorial: The public deserves to know

From Steamboat Today:  Last week, in an article reporting on the status of an ongoing investigation into allegations of misconduct by Steamboat Springs Police Chief Joel Rae and Deputy Chief Bob DelValle, a city spokesman confirmed there may not be a final report released at the end of the investigation, which we find extremely troubling.

In light of national events involving excessive use of force by police officers, and considering the seriousness of the allegations leveled against Steamboat’s top-ranking law enforcement officials, we think a report of some type needs to be released upon the conclusion of the investigation.

In addition to the seriousness of the allegations, there is also the issue of fiscal transparency. We have not been able to report on what the investigation is actually costing the city. We have asked for that information but were told the city “is not running a summation of costs.” We do know the investigator is charging $110 per hour plus expenses for her services and the city is also paying the city of Craig $349 per day for every day Craig Police Department Captain Jerry DeLong serves as interim chief while keeping Rae and Delvalle on paid administrative leave.

Once the investigation is complete in June, the newspaper will request a full accounting of costs associated with the investigation and report it. It’s information the public deserves to know, and we would expect the city to provide it.

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