Nov 12, 2013 11:46 PM by Andy Koen

Sheriff says no special treatment given

PUEBLO - Sheriff Kirk Taylor doesn't mince words about the biggest question in the Commissioner Buffie McFadyen ordeal. We asked whether she was given special treatment and Taylor replied, "No sir, I don't believe she was."

Deputies pulled up on McFadyen and Pueblo County Democratic Party Chairman Ron Greenwell in a dirt parking lot in Pueblo West back in January. Their cars were parked, and even though both had been drinking, the deputy let them call for a ride home.

In the dashboard camera recording released by McFadyen last week, you can hear the deputy call his supervisor and tell him, "I've got an intoxicated Buffie McFadyen out here."

We asked Sheriff Taylor whether such an act would have occurred for any other motorist stopped for DUI or suspected of DUI. In his reply, he made clear the reasons why drunk driving was not suspected in this case.

"There's no DUI if you have no bad driving, there's no DUI if you don't have an operating motor vehicle, There's no DUI unless you have some indicia of operating a motor vehicle; we had none of that," Taylor said.

When we pointed out that the cars were parked "out in the middle of nowhere" and Taylor responded, "Correct. And their story was, and we have no way to discredit that, was that they got dropped off there."

The only mistake the Sheriff believes happened was when Buffie's husband Troy Manchego came to pick her up. He didn't a drivers license because it was suspended. The deputy asked the dispatcher to run Manchego's name, but he let the husband drive off before getting an answer.

"It's not normal course of business that we'll go chase him down and give him a ticket," Taylor said.

"I had three officers tied up for over 45 minutes, not that we couldn't have (given him a ticket), my officers chose not to. Again, that's where discretion comes in, and we made a mistake just like I said in the Saturday's news article."

McFadyen was absent from Tuesday's Board of County Commissioners budget work session. Her office administrator said she was on vacation for an undetermined amount of time.


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