WOODLAND PARK, Colo. - Being arrested is not a legitimate reason to force an elected official from office in Woodland Park, the city clerk said Friday.
City Hall staff studied their options in the wake of Mayor David Turley's arrest on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child while in a position of trust. The arrest ended a two-week investigation.
City Clerk Cindy Morse said the city charter allows an elected official to be removed from office only if that person resigns, is convicted of a felony, is recalled by voters, refuses to serve, moves outside the city limits, or is mentally ill or otherwise unable to fulfill duties.
Morse said Turley will remain mayor for the present.
"The City Council doesn't have the authority to remove him, either," she said. "The council doesn't have any plans to discuss it in a meeting."
Woodland Park Police Chief Bob Larson emphasized that Turley is not getting special treatment -- which is why he asked detectives from Colorado Springs police to assist in the investigation.
"The reason I did that is because I realized that the suspect was our mayor, and I wanted people from another police department to be looking at us, so that we can have a fair and objective process," Larson said.
Larson said few details about the case are being released, in order to protect the identity of the alleged victim. However, he said police asked Turley to come to the station for questioning on Thursday evening. Turley was arrested at 1 a.m. Friday.
Turley's first court appearance in the case is scheduled for Wednesday morning at the Teller County Courthouse in Cripple Creek.