Basalt police chief Roderick O’Connor resigned in November for reasons that are still unclear after an investigation was launched into him by the town of Basalt.
He was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 15 pending the outcome of a workplace investigation. The town hired Mountain States Employers Council (MSEC) to produce a report on the former police chief, who had been in his position since 2010. O’Connor’s suspension ended Nov. 23, and he resigned voluntarily the same day.
The town of Basalt denied requests from both Aspen newspapers to release the report, arguing that it is a personnel matter and that a confidentiality agreement related to O’Connor’s $83,994 settlement also precludes disclosing the report. The requests led to a lawsuit against Basalt’s new town manager Mike Scanlon, which will be settled in court.
Officials and O’Connor remain mum on specifics of his resignation. The investigation found no “implication of misconduct of any kind” and that O’Connor’s suspension did not involve any investigation into criminal law violations or civil rights violations. O’Connor agreed he left voluntarily but declined comment when asked about the MSEC report.
Basalt Town Council members said they never saw the report because they were advised that they may have to vote on whether to discipline O’Connor. They voted to approve the settlement agreement for O’Connor after being briefed on the general nature of the allegations.
Meanwhile, the town of Basalt has launched a four-month-long, nationwide search for a qualified candidate to fill the position. The process of finding a new police chief could take months because town officials are creating a citizen’s advisory panel to help qualify and select a candidate for the position, Scanlon said.