Colo government watchdog group calls on Sheriff Darr to step down
Monday, May 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm
In the wake of his conviction in U.S. District Court Thursday, Colorado Ethics Watch is calling on Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr to resign. A jury found Democrat Darr abused his authority in attempts to trash the law-enforcement career of his Republican opponent in the 2010 sheriff’s election and prevent him from campaigning.
“There is no question in my mind that Sheriff Darr should resign,” said Luis Toro, director of Ethics Watch in a release Monday. “Any person who uses their office to retaliate for political expression… no longer deserves the office nor the trust of the people who put him in office. This is corruption at its most obvious, and Sheriff Darr should resign his office immediately.”
The details uncovered in the trial are damning.
Darr managed to defeat Deputy Mark Nicastle in November but, in the years between the time Nicastle announced his intention to run for sheriff and Election Day last November, Darr launched two internal investigations against Nicastle and demoted him from lieutenant to sergeant.
The nine-member jury voted unanimously that Darr violated Nicastle’s First Amendment rights and awarded Nicastle $24,600 in back pay and $99,000 in damages for pain and suffering.
Toro said Darr’s resignation would be the best way to restore public trust in Adams County government.
Darr did not return messages for comment.
“I’ll put you through to his office,” said an Adams County deputy, “but I doubt anyone there will talk to you about this.”