House hopeful focus of probe
Resignation as Fruita police officer not linked to internal investigation,Wright says
Republican House District 54 nominee Jared Wright said Wednesday his recent resignation from the Fruita Police Department was unrelated to an internal affairs investigation of him.
That same investigation—the subject of the probe was not immediately confirmed by Fruita authorities—had Mesa County criminal defense attorneys abuzz on Wednesday.
“I am limited in what I can say because of where we are in the process,” said Wright, who confirmed he was investigated by colleagues with Fruita police.
Wright said he will “absolutely” address the matter at a later date but didn’t specify when.
“I’m legally obligated not to comment at this time,” he said.
Wright, a police officer for more than five years, resigned from the Fruita Police Department on July 13. The Daily Sentinel has requested from the city a copy of Wright’s resignation letter.
Wright is seeking the House District 54 seat and is opposed by Libertarian candidate Timothy Menger of Whitewater.
Wright, in a telephone interview and in a prepared statement, said the internal investigation by Fruita police was not a deciding factor in his resignation.
“To run an effective campaign, it’s a full-time job ...” Wright said. “It was a pleasure to serve the people of Fruita as a patrol officer. It was a real lesson in the human experience. I hope in my time with the Fruita Police Department that I had a positive impact on a lot of people.”
Fruita Police Chief Mark Angelo could not be reached for comment Wednesday. His staff said he was out of town through the week.
The Sentinel earlier this week obtained an email that was sent to a group account for the Mesa County Criminal Defense Bar, including a host of local attorneys.
“Just a heads up—I just received a letter from the Fruita Police Chief in regards to Jared Wright and the fact that the police department may have Brady material—DA not in possession at this point,” said the email, which was sent by an attorney. “He resigned July 13, 2012. Guess his political aspirations aren’t likely to pan out either.”
“Brady material” refers to a U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brady v. Maryland, that said prosecutors must disclose information to defense attorneys that would allow for impeachment of a law enforcement officer’s credibility as a government witness.
Wright in March took more than 80 percent of delegates during the Mesa County Republican Party’s assembly for the House District 54 seat. He’s seeking to replace Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, who dropped out of the race, citing family reasons following an encounter with Denver police in a suspected drunken-driving incident.
Fruita officials in April said the city’s human-resources policy wouldn’t allow Wright to continue as a police officer if he joined the Legislature in 2013.