Silt paid ex-chief $35,000, agreed to keep investigation secret

Post Independent (Glenwood Springs): Former Silt Police Chief Levy Burris was paid nearly $35,000 upon his retirement in January, which came after he was on paid leave for four months, a separation agreement between the town and Burris shows.

The town also agreed in the document to do its best to keep secret from the public the results of an investigation conducted while Burris was on leave.

Burris retired effective Jan. 6 after 10 years as Silt police chief. He had been on leave since Sept. 7. The town made no announcement of his departure, and minutes of the Board of Trustees’ meetings show no record of the retirement or the agreement.

Documents obtained by the Post Independent through the Colorado Open Records Act show that Burris was paid $18,871.14 in severance and $16,016.29 for unused leave.

In the agreement, signed by Town Administrator Pamela Woods, Silt pledged “that it will take reasonable action under the attorney-client privilege, work product doctrine and/or the deliberative process privilege to attempt to protect any report, summary and/or substantive communications related to the investigations completed in 2016 by independent investigator, Heather Coogan.

“The Employer may produce such materials upon court order, but shall request the materials be produced subject to a protective order.”

Coogan, a former Littleton police chief and veteran Colorado law officer, now operates a firm called True to Course, whose web page says she conducts internal investigations for public and private organizations.

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