Fired landfill manager did job well

Former Mesa County landfill manager Bob Edmiston consistently received high marks on his performance reviews over the past 10 years, although an evaluation conducted three months before his firing in conjunction with a criminal case indicated he needed to work on his “communication skills and demeanor.”

Edmiston’s job performance was ranked as above standards, far above standards or outstanding every year but one since 2000, and he received a pay raise or merit bonus every year but two during that same time frame, according to records obtained by The Daily Sentinel under Colorado’s Open Records Act.

Edmiston, who had been in charge of the landfill as the waste management division director for 20 of his 23 years of employment with the county, was fired last month after his arrest on allegations he stalked and harassed another county employee and the employee’s wife. Prosecutors claim Edmiston used a county-owned Global Positioning System, computer and cell phone to track the whereabouts of the couple as part of a yearslong affair with the woman.

Records show Edmiston received a pay raise ranging from 1.04 percent to 4.5 percent in three of the past 10 years and a merit bonus ranging from 1.25 percent to 4 percent in six of those years. Merit bonuses are awarded to employees who have topped out within their pay range.

There were two years — 2003 and this year — in which Edmiston didn’t receive a pay raise or merit bonus.

Edmiston’s performance review from 2003 indicated he had topped out within his pay range, but no merit bonus was recommended. The evaluation did not provide a reason why.

County Human Resources Manager Sandy Perry said just because Edmiston didn’t receive a merit bonus that year, it doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t meet the standards for one.

Perry said awarding the bonus in 2003 would have been at the discretion of Public Works Director Pete Baier, who was out of the office last week and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Edmiston didn’t receive a bonus this year, but that was because the county eliminated pay increases and merit bonuses as part of a series of budget cuts, county spokeswoman Jessica Peterson said.

Edmiston’s performance review this year, which was completed in February, indicated Edmiston was a valuable employee to the county but had room for improvement.

“His technical ability and knowledge are outstanding,” Baier wrote. “Bob does need to work on his communication skills and demeanor.”

When he was fired, Edmiston received $33,177 in pay for accrued vacation time, accrued sick leave and the two days he was placed on administrative leave.

“This would have been the same thing any another employee whose services are terminated would receive,” County Attorney Lyle Dechant said.


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