High Country Crime: Ex-Glenwood arts chief charged with misdemeanor theft
The former executive director of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts was issued a summons Friday on misdemeanor theft, concluding months of investigation into the organization’s finances following her resignation in April.
Christina Brusig, 31, of Rifle, is scheduled to appear in Garfield County Court on Dec. 4, on Class 1 misdemeanor theft, Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson said in a three-sentence news release early Friday evening. Statute definesas theft of between $750 and $2,000, which is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
In January, the art center board confronted Brusig with numerous staff concerns, including of her management of the nonprofit’s finances. Eventually the board told her that, according to Kate McRaith, the former art center board president.
McRaith said in August that Brusig had consistently presented a positive picture of the organization’s finances, so the board never doubted it. But after her departure in early April, the board started finding the hard numbers on the art center’s debt and unpaid bills.
The board said in late April that the operation owed $68,000, but had only $5,000 in assets. The books were in disarray, and the art center couldn’t pay its teachers. The city of Glenwood Springs soon announced it was pulling its $50,000 annual funding for the arts center. The nonprofit began negotiating with the city to try to remain intact.
Anfound $4,789 in “likely unauthorized” expenses, another $5,937 in expenses that may have been unauthorized, and $9,455 worth of payroll and other reimbursements to Brusig that auditors said required further explanation.
Auditors said financial oversight was lacking: “It seems unlikely the center had sufficient internal controls to limit any potential misappropriation of funds prior to deposit,” it said, adding: “any cash payments for center services can be considered to have an inherently high risk of misappropriation.”
District Attorney Jeff Cheney has been studying the case since the audit was completed. He could not be reached for comment Friday.
Brusig told the Post Independent at the time that all the expenses detailed in the auditor’s report had been approved by the board.
—Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
Shirtless, drunken man causes ruckus, kicks out patrol car window in Craig
At 11:13 a.m. on Oct. 12, officers responded to a report of a disturbance in the 1200 block of Legion Street in Craig. A man wearing no shirt had stopped a vehicle with a female driver and was standing in front of it, not allowing the driver to leave. He was then standing on the hood of another vehicle yelling and keeping people from leaving. When officers arrived, he was still on the hood of a Subaru and had to be removed from the car. He was extremely intoxicated.
He was handcuffed and placed into the back of a patrol car. Three women on scene who were being detained by the man did not know him, but officers learned he lived about a block away on East 12th Street. Law enforcement had issues with the man before for playing very loud music and squabbling with his neighbors, but had never seen this type of behavior from him.
As they interviewed the women, the man proceeded to kick out the back window of the patrol vehicle with his boot. He was removed from the vehicle and was totally out of control. An ambulance was called and the man was held on the ground until he could be sedated and taken to the hospital.
The 57-year-old man, identified as Bruce Burton, was arrested and later transported to the jail on two counts of false imprisonment, criminal mischief — both private and public for damaging a citizen’s car and patrol car — third-degree criminal trespass, obstruction and resisting arrest.
—Craig Daily Press staff report
Driver leads police on speedy chase through West Glenwood
Glenwood Springs police early Sunday chased a car weaving through several West Glenwood streets.
An officer attempted to stop a silver Honda Accord on U.S. 6 after noticing one of its headlamps out at about 1:40 a.m. But the car turned on a side street and tried to speed away, making erratic maneuvers around side streets and a busy U.S. 6 trying to lose the officer.
“His reckless driving behavior put all people traveling in the vicinity in grave danger,” a Glenwood officer wrote.
At one point, the Accord turned into the Culver’s parking lot, hit a curb and drove through a planter.
Eventually the Accord came to Sister Lucy Downey Park, where the driver bailed out of the moving car, allowing it to crash in the northwest corner of the park, an officer reported.
The driver ran through the park and across the street, jumped over a wall separating Big Daddy’s Sports Bar and the Shell gas station. An officer eventually caught the man and stopped him at gunpoint.
“The vehicle suffered significant damage during this pursuit,” an officer reported. “Both tires on the passenger side were flat and the front tire was completely off the rim. The front bumper was damaged and had come loose from the front of the vehicle.”
Officers found that the vehicle was stolen in Glenwood Springs in August, and the 22-year-old did not have a valid license.
He was arrested on felony charges of vehicular eluding, aggravated motor vehicle theft and criminal mischief, as well as numerous misdemeanors.
—Ryan Summerlin, Glenwood Springs Post-Independent
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