Recall backer in trouble with the law
A member of a committee that has made character central to its efforts to recall Palisade Mayor Dave Walker is dealing with his own potential black mark.
Jeff Meade, 42, was given a one-year deferred judgment and sentence and ordered to pay more than $1,100 in fines Friday after being found in possession of methamphetamine in Rio Blanco County in January.
According to an arrest affidavit, a Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Department deputy stopped Meade for speeding 80 mph in a 65 mph zone on Colorado Highway 13 on Jan. 15.
Meade was driving a flatbed welding pickup and pulling a trailer.
After pulling over, Meade got out of the truck, walked between the truck and trailer to the passenger-side door of the truck, opened it and leaned inside, the affidavit said.
The deputy approached the truck and ordered Meade to show his hands and walk toward him. Meade told the deputy he was having trouble with the trailer brake controller in the truck, the affidavit said.
The deputy arrested Meade after learning his driver’s license was suspended due to an unpaid ticket. A search of the truck turned up a small glass jar containing a powder later confirmed to be meth, an open bottle of whiskey and two empty ink pens traditionally used to inhale meth, the affidavit said.
Meade pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession of a controlled substance July 23. The case will be wiped off his record if he stays out of trouble for the next year, according to Jeff Cheney, assistant district attorney for the 9th Judicial District.
Friday’s sentencing came six days after Palisade police pulled Meade over in the 300 block of West Eighth Street for having expired license plates on his motorcycle. He was ticketed for the expired plates, as well as for having no proof of insurance, no registration and no motorcycle endorsement, Police Chief Carroll Quarles said.
Meade and fellow Palisade residents Wayne Reid and Joyce Eielson make up the committee that’s attempting to recall Walker on Nov. 2, alleging Walker has abused his authority as mayor.
Reid told The Daily Sentinel he wasn’t aware of Meade’s January arrest when he was looking for committee members.
He said Meade was interested in serving on the committee because Meade claimed Walker had harassed him on multiple occasions and he was tired of it. Reid said he wouldn’t have selected Meade for the committee if he had known about his arrest.
“I wish he would have been forthright on that and let me know he had a problem,” Reid said.
At the same time, Reid said, “Just because you have a criminal background or a possible criminal allegation doesn’t mean you’re no longer entitled to be a citizen.”
Walker said he never has met Meade, but he believes Meade’s arrest and sentencing should be important to voters.
“I have said several times I think it would be in the town’s best interests and the citizens’ best interests if they would learn who the recall committee really is and what their motives really are,” Walker said.
Meade didn’t return a call this week seeking comment.