Restitution sought in Grand Lake tree-napping
Ryan Summerlin March 13, 2013
GRAND LAKE –The Town of Grand Lake voted on Monday to seek restitution for the holiday tree and lights that were damaged in a Jan. 16 late-night tree-napping.
The District Attorney’s office asked the town in February for an amount of restitution, which the town decided following this week’s executive session on the matter to be $2,440.
To determine this amount, the town sought the advice of Town Attorney Scott Krob, who advised the town “to determine a fair market value of the tree, damaged lights and town labor and equipment in response to the vandalism incident,” according to a March 11 memo to the board from Town Manager David Hook. Ultimately, a judge determines the amount of restitution.
Trustee Jim Peterson was the sole dissenting vote on the board’s decision about restitution for not agreeing to the value of the tree, which each year is donated to the town from a Grand Lake-area resident. Two other trustees recused themselves from the vote because of conflicts of interest, resulting in a 4-1 vote.
At a previous Jan. 28 board meeting during citizen participation, Dustin Barnes, Amber Feltz and Colin Sabo offered apologies to the board for being involved in the incident. Barnes and Feltz said in a letter to the board the act was a prank meant to follow a Grand Lake tradition of “harmless shenanigans.” They cut down the tree with all its lights and dragged it across town, leaving it in the yard of Trustee Tom Weydert’s house.
A subsequent investigation resulted in a summons issued on Feb. 3 by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office of a violation of Public Peace and Order, desecration of an object, which is a Class 3 misdemeanor.