Weld Co. commissioner claims retaliation for exposing Sunshine Law violations

The Greeley Tribune: Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway has filed a notice of claim against his fellow commissioners alleging retaliation and defamation after he said he publicly exposed their violations of Colorado’s open meetings laws and questioned their use of county funds at an emergency training last summer, among other wrongdoings.

Conway’s attorney, Jill Gookin of Loveland, filed the notice of claim with Weld County Attorney Bruce Barker on Tuesday — the day before the commissioners are set to appoint commissioner oversight for county departments and elect a chairperson for the year.

The commissioners are set to meet this morning for the annual changing of hands.

Conway, who has served as the chairman pro-tem through 2016, is expecting to be elected chairman, which has long been the practice of the commissioners as they enter a new year.

But this year, the four remaining county commissioners — Mike Freeman, Barbara Kirkmeyer, Julie Cozad and Steve Moreno — have no intention of doing so. They told him at a November conference in Colorado Springs they no longer had any trust in him after his public accusations of wrongdoing and an incident in which he allegedly screamed so much at a county employee for scheduling a meeting he couldn’t attend that she resigned.

She later filed a complaint of harassment against him, claiming a hostile work environment. The complaint is being investigated by an outside contractor.

Conway has accused the commissioners of encouraging the employee to file the complaint. Conway has said the meeting in Colorado Springs was illegal in that the public was not given proper notice. The remaining commissioners say proper notice was given for the meeting, in that all five commissioners were attending the conference that had a variety of topics.

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