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Black Forest residents question cost of independent review

Black Forest residents question cost of independent review

BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Black Forest residents expressed disappointment Wednesday night at the results and cost of Black Forest Fire Board's independent investigation into Chief Bob Harvey's handling of the Black Forest Fire.

At the fire board's monthly board meeting, residents were given about 15 minutes to ask questions about the investigation.  The first question, regarding the cost, brought some scoffs.  The fire board estimated the cost to be "somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000."  The fire board did not give an estimate for the cost of a PR firm hired in light of the investigation.

"I see that as a gross misuse of our funds," Jayme McConnellogue, a Black Forest resident, told KRDO NewsChannel 13.  

Some stood in support of the fire board and commended them for conducting the investigation.  Others left frustrated at the lack of time given to ask questions.

"We haven't had much of an opportunity to speak our minds or show any emotion. I've witnessed them threaten to have people removed from board meetings. I've heard them tell people to shut their mouths," McConnellogue said.  "We don't have a voice."

The fire board said it intends to release the entire investigation after the district attorney's office reviews it and redacts anything that might interfere with the investigation into the cause of the fire.

Click here to read the results of the independent investigation and the response from Sheriff Terry Maketa.

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