Former deputy facing misconduct charges

SAGUACHE — Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick confirmed Tuesday that a longtime deputy on the force has been dismissed after official misconduct charges were filed June 30 in Saguache District Court by 12th Judicial district attorney Robert Willett.

Wayne Clark, who formerly worked with law enforcement in New Mexico, was charged with one count of first-degree official misconduct, a class two misdemeanor, according to a complaint and information document filed with the court.

The document reads: “On or about May 10, 2020, Wayne Clark, a public servant, with intent to obtain a benefit for any person or maliciously cause harm to another, unlawfully and knowingly violated a statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation relating to his office; in violation of section 18-8-404, C.R.S.”

Clark was released from duty last month. He had served with the Sheriff’s Office since Jan. 29, 2015.

Witnesses listed in the case include Sheriff Warwick, Center Police Chief Dale Meek, Investigator Harry Alejo and one other witness.

Another court document filed in the case shows Judge Anna Ulrich has excused herself from hearing the case owing to “an appearance of impropriety,” since “the respondent has appeared as a witness several times in court and has acted as court security.” She has requested that a visiting judge be brought in to hear the case.

Warwick attributed Clark’s dismissal overall to “cumulative issues,” noting that reports also were not being completed in a timely manner and cases were not being fully investigated. He requested an outside agency to investigate the misconduct matter.

Clark is scheduled to appear in court July 29, at 8:30 a.m.