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13 Investigates: CBI conducts criminal investigation involving Woodland Park PD

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (KRDO) -- City Manager Michael Lawson confirmed to 13 Investigates the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and a detective from the Teller County Sheriff's Office are conducting a criminal investigation involving the Woodland Park Police Department.

According to Lawson, the investigators did not say what the investigation is about, however, they requested to interview executive-level members of the Woodland Park Police Department.

Lawson confirmed the members of the department being interviewed are Commanders Ryan Holzwarth, who is also serving as acting Police Chief, and Andy Leibbrand. At this time, no charges have been filed against anyone.

Both Holzwarth and Leibbrand have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation proceeds.

Our team saw Holzwarth and the Teller County Sheriff walk into the back door of city hall around 2 pm Monday.

"Because this situation is very preliminary, and also because the city does not have any details of what the allegations are, the city will not make assumptions other than these are only allegations at this time and we have extremely limited information to share. We are also sensitive to the fact that any details that we may confirm could jeopardize an ongoing investigation," Lawson said.

13 Investigates has reached out to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for more information.

The CBI interviews come three weeks after Woodland Park Police Chief Miles DeYoung was placed on paid administrative leave for an investigation into workplace conduct allegations. DeYoung is still on leave for that investigation. It's unclear if the CBI interviews are connected to DeYoung's leave or workplace conduct investigation.

The Woodland Park city manager previously said that the allegations against DeYoung "are not criminal in nature."

DeYoung previously declined to speak with 13 Investigates about why he was on leave, saying it was "a personnel matter."

City officials are waiting for an investigative report by a third party before making a decision regarding DeYoung's employment status.

While the three top leaders of the police department are on leave, the city plans to bring in an outside resource to fill the role of acting chief, according to the city manager. In the meantime, Sergeant Mike McDaniel and Sergeant Beth Huber will handle the duties of Holzwarth and Leibbrand.

If you have a lead or story you want our team to look into, email us at 13Investigates@krdo.com.

Investigations / Local News / Video

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

5 Comments

  1. “The CBI interviews come three weeks after Woodland Park Police Chief Miles DeYoung was placed on paid administrative leave for an investigation into workplace conduct allegations. DeYoung is still on leave for that investigation. It’s unclear if the CBI interviews are connected to DeYoung’s leave or workplace conduct investigation.”
    .
    That’s a lot of coincidental activities if there’s no connection.

  2. What could cause an Chief of police to be placed on taxpayer paid administrative leave for 3 weeks so far be something that can be classified as, “a Personal matter”. Isn’t vacation time issued for “a Personal matter” or FMLA?
    Additionally, if the WP city manager Michael Lawson stated that the allegations against DeYoung “are not criminal in nature” how do you resolve the first paragraph of this article. “City Manager Michael Lawson confirmed to 13 Investigates the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and a detective from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office are conducting “a criminal investigation” involving the Woodland Park Police Department.”
    Why would CBI and TCSO both be “conducting a criminal investigation involving the Woodland Park Police Department”? Either the City manager directly lied to the public when he stated that the allegations against DeYoung “are not criminal in nature”, or this article, CBI, and TCSO’s involvement is just supposed to be believed as routine.
    Moreover, why would the 2nd in command, Acting Chief Commander Ryan Holzwarth, and the 3rd in command, Commander Andy Leibbrand were also be placed on “taxpayer paid administrative leave while the investigation proceeds”, especially if this investigation is not criminal?
    Given the current state of affairs within the law enforcement community, what would cause a state agency, CBI, to come in and remove the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in command and put into power the 4th, and 5th when their department isn’t that big to begin with?
    This sounds like an entire supervisory Cadre in WPPD got caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing. CBI needs to do whatever they are doing in WPPD at every local law enforcement agency and try to end the Blue Wall and local “Good ol’ Boys” clubs within these agencies and fix the real problem within law enforcement. The problem isn’t usually the front line officers, it’s usually isolated to the leadership to the agency(ies).

  3. The Chief is on leave because of “a PERSONNEL Matter” which is not the same as “a PERSONAL matter”. Look up the words if you don’t know the difference.

    1. Clearly that one misreading of that one word invalidated my entire post. Even with that one discussion point out, it doesn’t ruin the crux of the topic I made. The top 3 supervisors of the WPPD are on taxpayer paid admin leave, for a criminal investigation. Regardless of what the City Manager stated, which was a lie, because the first paragraph clearly states to the contrary.

      1. I think you’re reading too much between the words. It states that the criminal investigation involved the police department. But then it singles out the two officers being investigated other than the Chief. It’s possible that the original investigation into the Chief was non-criminal in nature, but perhaps there was an attempted cover-up involving others, which would be criminal. So I don’t think there’s necessarily a conflict. But even if there is, it’s a KRDO story…

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