Sheriff candidate’s wife says she was forced out of job
EAGLE – The wife of the candidate who is challenging Sheriff Joe Hoy in an August primary says she was forced out of her job with the Sheriff’s Office.
“I really think it’s retaliation,” said Angie Wolf, wife of Republican candidate and Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Wolf.
But Hoy and the county’s human resources director, Lisa Ponder, say Angie Wolf was offered a new job because of a conflict of interest and she declined to accept it and she quit.
“No, it was not retaliation,” Hoy said.
Angie Wolf worked for a year and a half as a community affairs officer with the Sheriff’s Office before she resigned in mid-April. Wolf says she was forced to resign.
Ponder said she and Kim Andree of the Sheriff’s Office decided that, once Wolf’s husband made it onto the primary ballot at the county’s Republican Party assembly in April, it would be awkward for Angie Wolf to serve as community affairs officer – representing Hoy’s plans and platforms to the public – while her husband was running against Hoy. They chose to transfer Wolf to a desk job until the election was over, Ponder said.
“She looked at the duties, and she wasn’t happy with them, and she tendered her resignation,” Ponder said.
Wolf said her new job description contained so many duties, she was essentially being forced to resign.
“You’re giving me unreasonable job duties and unachievable deadlines,” Wolf said she told county officials.
At that point, Wolf tendered her resignation, she said.
Ponder said she would have been happy to work with Wolf to address concerns about the nature of her re-assignment, but Wolf never gave her that chance.
Hoy said he didn’t have much input in the entire situation.
“I can say that she was not forced to do anything,” Hoy said. “I wasn’t in on the conversation. It was a change in position. As far as I understand, she was not reduced in pay.”
Furthermore, Angie Wolf claims that deputies are being threatened if they publicly support Charles Wolf in his bid for sheriff.
“We have the right to be politically active outside our jobs,” she said.
Hoy denied Wolf’s claim.
“If someone wants to support him, that’s their political right,” Hoy said. “I have no control over who they want to support. That’s hogwash.”
Wolf and Hoy will face off in the Republican primary in August. The winner will likely square off with independent candidate James van Beek, a former Eagle County sheriff’s deputy, in November. People supporting van Beek – who is now in Afghanistan working as a police officer for the U.S. State Department – are now circulating petitions to get his name on the November ballot
Wolf remains a patrol deputy with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. Hoy says he could have chosen to fire Wolf once he challenged him, but he chose not to. Ponder said Hoy could have legally fired the deputy after he declared his candidacy for the Sheriff’s job.
“There’s a loyalty issue there, and I could have (fired Wolf), but I decided not to,” Hoy said. “He was hired to be a patrol deputy, and as a patrol deputy, he was doing a good job.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.