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Aspen Police Chief Put on Leave, Accused of Sexual Harassment

October 12, 2007  | 

The world famous ski resort of Aspen, Colo., may soon be looking for a new chief of police.
Current Chief Loren Ryerson has been accused of making unwanted sexual overtures to female officers.

Ryerson has been placed on indefinite leave while city officials and the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk-Sharing Agency investigate the allegations.

“The have been rumors he might have been doing some inappropriate things, but I’ve never heard of anyone filing an official complaint. Those stories are quite stale,” Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis told the Denver Post.

Ryerson was named chief in 2001. He has served on the Aspen force since 1984.

City officials and Ryerson have clashed in the past. The chief was called “heavy-handed” when he authorized a raid on two local restaurants, disrupting diners meals, to arrest two low-level drug dealers.

He also stood up for an officer who TASERed an elderly homeless woman, refusing to fire the officer. The city manager stepped in and fired the officer against Ryerson’s recommendation.

Assistant Chief Richard Pryor will run the department while Ryerson is on leave.

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