Printed letters, Feb. 7, 2010

Where’s the support

for Birgfeld’s claim?

The Daily Sentinel’s Feb. 3 editorial applauds Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper’s action of seeking an external review of police culture after allegations of domestic violence by an officer and a suspicion of rape by another surfaced. The editorial noted that “he hasn’t tried to avoid tough questions or hide what was taking place.”

Compare that with the May 15, 2009, editorial, which condescendingly trivialized my request of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department to probe into money missing amid the criminal investigation of my disappeared daughter, Paige Birgfeld.

It became immediately evident that Paige was handling thousands of dollars away from bank accounts, in one instance $80,000. I promptly reported this to the Sheriff’s Department and searched, but found no money. About a year later, the CBS News show “48 Hours” said “a contact close to the investigation reported investigators recovered a large amount of cash from her residence — tens of thousands of dollars.” CBS News assured me that this source is absolutely reliable.

Sheriff Stan Hilkey refused my request for an investigation. Without taking easy steps of verifying what I saw as to the money or speaking with CBS News, he said nothing further was needed, since there was no money reported on the department’s “evidence/property report forms.”

Then, after I made the same request of the FBI Public Corruption Unit months later, he, in grand politician form, said that he’d “welcome and encourage such an investigation.”

This isn’t so much about the money. It’s about tampering with evidence in a homicide investigation and obstructing justice.

Now compare this newspaper’s applause for Camper’s review on two domestic violence incidents versus Hilkey’s refusal to do likewise in Paige’s case.

If there’s a dirty cop, has he done it before? Will he in future cases? Nevertheless, the editor in May said, “the FBI shouldn’t spend too much time on this.”


New site is pleasing, easy to use

I am writing this letter to those people at The Daily Sentinel who worked on this new and improved Web site.

I was in a mass communications class last semester at Mesa State College, when Sentinel people made a visit and talked about the Web site and changes that were planned.

Our class gave input about the things on the site that we did not like. These issues included too many distracting ads, not enough main news, and wasted space. I look at the news on your site daily and just wanted to let you know that you have done a great job.

The site is much better. I think it will be much easier for people to find the news that they are interested in. There are no real distractions going on anymore. You used your space very well. The page looks great. Keep up the great news and the great work.


Grand Junction

Communication was key in Central High gun case

Kudos to Jody Diers, Ani Wood, Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and the staff, teachers and students at Central High School. The gun incident recently was obviously difficult for everyone involved. Timely communication of the facts kept this situation from turning into widespread panic.


Grand Junction


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