April 5, 2017 Updated: April 5, 2017 at 7:10 pm
Amid accusations that he unfairly arrested people for driving under the influence, a Fremont County Sheriff’s Office sergeant has been placed on administrative leave, The Canon City Daily Record reported Wednesday.
Sgt. Arin Hart allegedly arrested people for DUIs who showed no signs of impairment, the newspaper reported.
Hart began working for the Sheriff’s Office in July 2013 and became a patrol sergeant in January 2016, according to a LinkedIn page.
The accusations about Hart, which led to questions about whether his administrative leave should be disclosed to a jury when he testifies at an upcoming trial, were brought forward by Colorado State Patrol Trooper Gregory Muse, according to the Daily Record.
Hart is expected to be called as a witness during the trial of Steven Whitt, 54, accused of the attempted second-degree murder of his wife and having a sexual relationship with his stepdaughter, according to the Daily Record.
In a report, Trooper Muse described concerns he had about a Feb. 28 traffic stop on which he assisted Hart, according to The Pueblo Chieftain. At Sheriff Jim Beicker’s request, Muse met with the sheriff March 1, and Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Friedberg told Muse that she dismissed the Feb. 28 case based on discrepancies between Muse’s observations and Hart’s report, the newspaper reported.
Daniel Zettler, chief deputy public defender for the 11th Judicial District, and longtime defense attorney Jeff Manning told the Chieftain that multiple cases handled by Hart have been dismissed.
“As a public defender I hear the same stories over and over and how they are similar, so he (Hart) has been on our radar for quite some time,” Zettler told the newspaper. “We’ve had ongoing concerns about his DUI arrests, his behavior with people and fabricating and flat out lying in reports in the absence of impairment.
“He (Hart) has been . . . intimidating and searching vehicles of people who clearly are innocent and through blood or breath tests it is proven there is nothing in their systems or they are not at a level that reaches impairment. The public needs to raise questions about officers who violate the rights of citizens and misstate evidence.”
Hart was placed on administrative leave last month, the Chieftain reported.
Fremont County Attorney Brenda Jackson also appeared in court Tuesday, the Daily Record reported, to argue against releasing information about the investigation into Hart.
“This is an incomplete investigation based on accusations that have not been found,” Jackson said, according to the newspaper.