Probe of former DA nears end |

Probe of former DA nears end

Misuse of expense fund center of controversy

— A decision on whether former 14th Judicial District Attorney Charles Feldmann misused an expense fund is expected to be made next week.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Michael Goodbee said he is close to making a decision in the independent investigation his office started in May 2001.

At this time, Goodbee is in the process of comparing the facts of the investigation with the criminal code to determine if Feldmann’s use of the expense fund requires criminal charges.

Goodbee expects a decision on whether charges will be filed to happen before Wednesday.

When a decision is made, Goodbee said he will submit his findings in a report.

According to court documents, Goodbee is examining Feldmann’s expense fund between October 2000 and the time of his resignation May 14, 2001.

Feldmann worked for 14th Judicial District Attorney Paul McLimans for about five years in Steamboat Springs but abruptly resigned.

The expense fund was a point of contention for Feldmann and McLimans in the days leading up to the resignation.

McLimans said he met with Feldmann four days before the resignation to discuss the expense fund.

After Feldmann resigned, McLimans requested an independent investigation be conducted. Routt County Judge James Garrecht appointed Goodbee’s office to handle the inquiry.

The case has been delayed and at times pushed to the back burner because of the number of cases in Goodbee’s district, which includes Summit and Eagle counties.

Goodbee said a major reason why this investigation was not wrapped up months ago is the number of homicides that have gone to trial in his district.

“From last August until March, I prosecuted two murder cases,” Goodbee said. “The preparation for those two cases was very time consuming.”

Another reason why the investigation took so long to complete is Goodbee has had to handle the Feldmann case himself.

Originally, Goodbee assigned the case to one of his deputies, Rob Wheeler.

Wheeler was close to making a decision in November but was suspended in December by Goodbee.

Wheeler was placed on administrative leave because he gave information to Koleen Brooks, the former embattled Georgetown mayor.

Wheeler was suspended because he confirmed Brooks’ suspicion she was the target of an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in September.

Since January, Goodbee has been working on the Feldmann case. In February, he met with Feldmann and his attorneys, Kristopher Hammond and Michael O’Hara.

Feldmann’s attorneys have called the length of the investigation unusual but want Goodbee to take as much time as is needed to look at all the facts.

McLimans has replaced Feldmann in the Steamboat Springs office with David Moffat. Feldmann is working for a Steamboat Springs law firm.

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