County Jail looking for new commander |

County Jail looking for new commander

John Gardner

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a new Jail Commander.

Sheriff Lou Vallario confirmed Monday that Scott Dawson, the former commander, is no longer employed with the Sheriff’s Office. However, Vallario said he couldn’t comment if Dawson was fired or if he left on his own, saying it was a personnel matter.

Dawson’s last day was Feb. 19.

Vallario did comment that Dawson’s departure had nothing to do with an internal investigation regarding the now infamous anonymous e-mail which accused Vallario with impropriety and favoritism. Dawson was not mentioned in the e-mail. Dawson was reportedly under internal investigation.

Vallario said, “We cannot share administrative investigation information with a criminal investigation, since we require employees to cooperate internally, but criminally, they still have the constitutional right to not self-incriminate.”

Dawson was also named in a lawsuit, along with Vallario and the Garfield County Board of Commissioners, filed by a former jail employee, Lisa Martin in May 2007. Martin is the daughter of county commissioner John Martin.

The lawsuit alleged that male supervisors, including Dawson, had subjected her to unwanted and inappropriate on-the-job and off-the-job scrutiny regarding her personal life, spread rumors within the Sheriff’s Office about her, and that Vallario and Dawson asked Martin to falsify reports, according to past Post Independent reports.

The case was sent back to district court late last year after several claims were dismissed by a federal court judge.

Vallario said that they will be looking outside the Sheriff’s Office to fill the position, because there is no one in the chain of command in the jail who is qualified for the position.

“I feel that we need a fresh face with new and different ideas, not a continuation of how we have been operating,” Vallario said.

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