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Severance holding internal investigation into police chief, formerly with Silverthorne department

Severance police Chief Misty Siderfin was placed on unpaid administrative leave in October

Joe Moylan
Greeley Tribune
Severance Mayor Don McLeod and chief of police Misty Siderfin shake hands after her swearing in Wednesday evening Jan., 30, 2019 at the Severance Town Hall.
Michael Brian /mbrian@greeleytribune.com

Severance Town Administrator Nicholas Wharton confirmed this past week his chief of police is on unpaid leave and a sergeant is no longer with the department.

Severance police Chief Misty Siderfin was placed on unpaid administrative leave in October, Wharton said. He declined to comment about the circumstances, citing an ongoing internal investigation.

Severance police Chief Misty Siderfin, left, swears in Sgt. Theresa Barger, center, as daughter Danni Barger, right, watches during the department’s swearing in ceremony Wednesday evening Jan., 30, 2019 at Severance Town Hall. (Michael Brian/mbrian@greeleytribune.com)
Courtesy photo

Sgt. Theresa Barger, Siderfin’s “second-in-command,” is no longer with Severance police as of Dec. 2, Wharton said. Barger’s departure is due to some type of performance issue, though Wharton wouldn’t comment about specifics in her case either. He also declined to comment about whether or not Barger’s departure is connected to Siderfin’s active internal investigation.

Johnstown police Cmdr. Aaron Sanchez has been serving as interim Severance police chief since Oct. 8, Wharton said. The town of Severance is paying his salary.

Sanchez’s contract with Severance sunsets Dec. 31, at which point Russell Reed will step in as interim police chief. Reed is a retired lieutenant from Fort Collins Police Services, Wharton said. How long Reed stays will depend on the internal investigation into Siderfin.

Siderfin was hired in August 2018 as the first chief of the Severance Police Department. The town previously had been receiving law enforcement services on a contract basis from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.

Siderfin left the Silverthorne Police Department after 14 years to take the top cop job in Severance. She recruited Barger, who also came from Silverthorne police, to be her second-in-command.

Siderfin, Barger and five officers were formally sworn-in during a ceremony Jan. 30 at Severance Town Hall.

The Greeley Tribune has filed Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act requests seeking more information about Barger’s departure and Siderfin being placed on unpaid leave in accordance with a new Colorado law making records of internal investigations open to the public.

— Joe Moylan covers crime and public safety for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at jmoylan@greeleytribune.com, (970) 392-4467 or on Twitter @JoeMoylan.


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