Pitkin County Sheriff parts ways with intoxicated deputy
ASPEN — A Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy found to be intoxicated while on duty more than two weeks ago no longer works for the agency, Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said Thursday.
George Kremer, 61, was given the option of resigning or being fired and is still deciding which option to choose, DiSalvo said.
“It was really a termination,” he said. “It was the right thing to do.”
A phone message left for Kremer on Thursday was not returned.
Kremer reported for duty at 7 a.m. March 1 and was later dispatched to assist with traffic at a car accident at the intersection of the Aspen Business Center and Highway 82, DiSalvo has said. At about 10:30 a.m. while at the accident scene, another deputy smelled alcohol on Kremer and notified DiSalvo.
A Colorado State Patrol officer nearby handled the incident and declined to charge Kremer with DUI because he didn’t see him drive, a standard used by CSP officers for any driver, DiSalvo has said. Kremer did drive a marked sheriff’s office car that morning, the sheriff has said.
Kremer had a breath-alcohol content above the legal driving limit of .08 but below a .16, according to DiSalvo. He was charged with misdemeanor, prohibited use of a weapon, because he had his service weapon with him while on duty.
Kremer told The Aspen Times after the incident that he’d stayed up late the night before drinking, and then went to work early. He said he didn’t drink while on duty and no alcohol was found in his vehicle, DiSalvo said.
“George was incredibly professional about this,” DiSalvo said Thursday. “He truly loves Aspen and the history of it. I know this has been hard on him.”
Still, parting ways with Kremer — who worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 19 years — was “the right thing to do,” the sheriff said.
“His behavior is not what the people of Pitkin County expect from their deputies,” DiSalvo said.
Kremer accepted DiSalvo’s decision without issue, he said.
“We both agreed it was something that had to happen,” DiSalvo said.
With Kremer’s departure, the recent retirement of another deputy and the transfer of a third deputy to the Aspen Police Department, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office has four vacancies and is currently short-handed, the sheriff said.