The Grand Junction Sentinel’s Paul Shockley and Charles Ashby hammer away today at the credibility of GOP HD-54 candidate Jared Wright, in two stories detailing the reasons for his departure last month from the Fruita Police Department, and what appears to be an improper attempt by Wright to cover up the details of that departure. First Shockley’s report:
Questions about Jared Wright’s tardiness on the job grew from more than just one or two incidents this summer, records reviewed by The Daily Sentinel show.
Fellow Fruita police officers complained about Wright’s whereabouts at work as far back as 2010…
Two officers said on approximately seven occasions-between April and June-Wright was scheduled to start work at 7 a.m. but Wright’s vehicle was still in his driveway roughly 45 minutes to an hour after radioing “in service.”
Interviewed on the issue by Fruita Police Lt. Judy Macy, Wright said he’s typically at home “10 to 20” minutes after calling in service.
“(O)K. How do you think that would be viewed by the public if they know that you were getting paid at 7?,” Macy asked Wright during a June 20 interview.
“If they, if they knew that would look bad. Now, here’s how I look at it, though …” Wright replied…
According to Shockley, Wright admitted that “I have a problem being late for work,” but compared sitting at home after radioing “in service” to heading first to a coffee shop. This excuse didn’t fly with Wright’s superiors, though, and contradicted what he had apparently said at other times regarding his whereabouts. And that’s where Charles Ashby picks up the story:
Just days before he was given the choice of resigning or being terminated from his job, Jared Wright pleaded with Fruita Police Chief Mark Angelo not to send out a so-called Brady memo to defense attorneys in the Grand Valley, saying it would make him appear to be dishonest, according to a police internal affairs report obtained by The Daily Sentinel.
“A Brady issue is now … a career blow … possibly a blow to two careers,” Wright told Angelo on July 10, three days before he handed in his resignation letter. “The fact that there’s a Brady cop running for, for political office … it’ll be over in Denver. I mean it’s gonna be statewide. The last thing I wanna do is open the newspaper for the next two years looking at this mess.”
…When Wright realized Angelo had already sent the memo, he tried to get the chief to rescind it before [District Attorney Pete] Hautzinger had a chance to forward it to defense attorneys in the valley. Wright later asked Hautzinger not to send it out, but he did two days later.
Although Angelo and Hautzinger said they couldn’t legally do that, Wright said he spoke to other “counsel” who said it could be done.
It appears that Mr. Wright, who as we’ve discussed has no Democratic opponent and only an unknown third-party challenger (who is nonetheless very excited), has got two problems coming out of this: questions about his work ethic, but more importantly questions about his honesty. If Wright sought some kind of dispensation to which he wasn’t entitled, that’s even worse for him. The press he’s getting strongly suggests that’s how this will go down in the record.
Wright may have no opposition now, but party brass may yet want to cut its losses and find somebody who won’t be a target of opportunity in 2014, in an otherwise safe GOP seat.