Dinosaur Town Council to appear before grand jury Thursday in Steamboat Springs
Craig Daily Press
CRAIG — The Dinosaur Town Council will be taking a taxpayer-funded trip to Steamboat Springs on Thursday, Feb. 28, to testify before a grand jury regarding an ongoing, sealed investigation into the town of about 300 in Moffat County near the Utah boarder.
Dinosaur trustee David Heinrich confirmed Tuesday that he and at least eight others were served a second round of subpoenas last week by the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s office compelling them to appear before a grand jury.
The grand jury will decide whether to charge anyone with a crime, but its proceedings are secret and sealed from public disclosure.
On Jan. 31, the Craig Press requested a search warrant affidavit that was executed at Dinosaur Town Hall, but the newspaper was denied access to the warrant, which had been sealed by Moffat County Judge Sandra Gardner.
The subject of the investigation is not known, but several Dinosaur residents contacted the Craig Press in January alleging financial mismanagement of increased tax revenue related to recreational marijuana.
Financial spreadsheets show the town is awash in legalized marijuana tax income — $35,000 in January alone. Some of that money is being used to increase the budget in key areas, including the general fund and law enforcement, according to Heinrich.
Despite all that cash, Dinosaur officials are confident they’ve complied with the law.
Heinrich alleged the investigation arose from rumors and lies from Dinosaur residents.
“This is fake news,” he said. “I never thought I’d say that, because I’m a Democrat.”
The residents also were outraged over the firing of Darren Reed, Dinosaur’s town marshal and only police officer.
After Dinosaur residents and business owners learned the Town Council had fired a second town marshal in less than a year, they held a meeting Jan. 29 at the Highway Bar & Grill. During the gathering, which was streamed live on Facebook by Reed, residents expressed their concerns and decided to initiate a petition to recall the Town Council.
Heinrich alleged Reed wasn’t honest and was fired for disobedience and trying to circumvent council regarding funding for his department.
“He went behind our back,” Heinrich said. “If you have an employee who does the opposite of what you tell him to do, that employee will suffer the consequences.”
Reed has declined to speak on the record about the ongoing Dinosaur investigation.
“The only mistake we made was hiring him in the first place,” Heinrich said.
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