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Around the Valley

Scott Cunningham

Assistant county manager moving onAssistant county administrator George Roussos has reached an oral agreement with Hernando County, Fla., to become their new deputy county administrator. Roussos has worked at Eagle County for the last eight years and has been a local resident for the last 10.”I love Eagle County, but I’m excited for a new challenge,” said Roussos, who has relatives in Hernando County.Once Roussos has submitted a letter of resignation to Eagle County, and Hernando County has submitted a formal letter of intent, the offer will be finalized.Hernando County commissioners ratified the appointment at a meeting Tuesday evening, Dec. 17, after choosing Roussos from a pool of 150 candidates. Roussos is expected to begin his new position in mid January.”It’s great news for him,” said Eagle County Administrator Jack Ingstad. “We wish him luck.” According to Ingstad, the county will not be looking to fill the position vacated by Roussos. Instead, Ingstad is planning on diverting the funds freed by Roussos’ departure to the county’s merit increase program, which, according to a yearly review done by a supervisor, allows all county employees to receive up to a 4 percent raise.”I prefer flat organization,” said Ingstad, who expressed confidence in the managers of his departments to continue performing at a high level. According to Ingstad, the projects Roussos has been overseeing, such as the Edwards Spur Road improvements, will not be affected by his departure.”I have extreme confidence that Helen (Migchelbrink, county engineer) and Brad (Higgins, road and bridge director) will do just fine,” Ingstad said. “They are the people, after all, who have been doing the work.”According to Roussos, the head county administrator in Hernando is scheduled to retire in 2004, providing an opportunity for promotion. His new county will be nearly four times the size of Eagle County, but Roussos says the challenges are similar: affordable housing, transportation, growth management and water.”Mr. Roussos diverse background in terms of knowledge and his experience with many of the issues we deal with here made him an ideal candidate,” said Hernando County human resources director Barbara Dupre.Avon council member charged in computer crime casePeter Buckley, an Avon council member and owner of InternetVail.com, has been charged with three counts of computer crime, transmit virus, according to deputy Eagle County district attorney Brenda Parks. The crime is a level 4 felony, and Buckley faces two to six years in a department of corrections facility and anywhere from a $2,000 to $500,000 in fines if convicted. Since there are three counts to the charge, the penalties could be run consecutively or concurrently, according to the judge’s discretion.Parks, the prosecuting attorney on the case, alleges that on Sept. 6 and 7, 2001, Buckley overloaded the system of rival Internet provider VailNet by sending thousands of “Spam” e-mails to its server, causing VailNet to shut down. Forensics experts from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI) and the FBI, after seizing and investigating Buckley’s computers, believe they have determined a definitive pathway between Buckley and the Spam sent to VailNet, according to Parks.At the advise of his attorney, Buckley was not commenting on the case Thursday, Dec. 19, except to say, “I finally have a chance to clear my name for my customers and my constituents.”His first appearance in Eagle County Court is set for Jan. 15 at 2:30 p.m.Remains of missing Gypsum woman foundSkeletal remains of Gypsum’s Coty Vernon, 18, who disappeared in 1998, were discovered this past week 10 miles south of De Beque in Western Colorado.Vernon disappeared in February 1998 after leaving a party with Jason Garner, then 20. She was last seen about three miles from where her remains were found by an elk hunter Dec. 8. On Friday, Dec. 13, the remains were positively identified as Vernon’s using dental X-rays.”Currently, we’re unsure if it’s foul play or natural causes,” Mesa County Deputy Tanya Brechlin said. The terrain the remains were found in is very rugged and inaccessible by vehicle, according to Brechlin, and though they were close to where Vernon’s car was found, they were outside of the initial search area.A preliminary investigation of the cause of death has begun in conjunction with the Colorado division of the FBI, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office and a forensic anthropologist, but will be time-consuming, according to Brechlin, due to the difficulty of working with skeletal remains.


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