Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cop, Editor Try a Quid Pro Quo

Former Aspen Police Officer Valerie McFarlane was on work-related probation, when she pulled her patrol car in behind Troy Hooper, an editor for the Aspen Daily News because he was admittedly intoxicated.

Instead of citing Mr. Hooper or getting him to perform any field sobriety tests, Officer McFarlane gave him a ride home and after they reached his residence on the outskirts of town, they sat and talked for twenty-six minutes, while her dashboard equipment recorded.

In early January, a local attorney fighting a DUI charge for another client had called into question Ms. McFarlane's reliability because she had worn her uniform and "badged" admission for herself, her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend to a Black Eyed Peas concert held as part of the Jazz Aspen/Snowmass Labor Day Festival.

After spending some time in general admission, the officer "badged" her party's way into the VIP area, which was reserved for those who had bought the highest priced tickets, which the complaining attorney estimates to be valued at more than $2000.

According to the Aspen Police Department, a fellow officer had turned Ms. McFarlane in prior to the attorney's allegations and since the incident has become public, the former officer has stated that she was only there to watch over her 14 year-old daughter, she did not pay attention to the concert and that they did not partake of the VIP buffet.

Though it is not known for certain because it is a personnel matter, but one might conclude that Officer McFarlane's probation was at least partially due to her conduct at the jazz festival.

Troy Hooper had written a couple of articles about the attorney's allegations and during their conversation in his driveway, he and Ms. McFarlane discussed the situation and Mr. Hopper said that he'd like to give her a "second chance", just as she was giving him a "second chance" because she wasn't arresting him for drunk driving.

Quite possibly, the Hooper incident came to light because Ms. McFarlane requested the squad car recording after the fact and in an effort to avoid the appearance of impropriety, she is no longer employed by the Aspen Police Department.

It is not known, whether she resigned or was fired.
No word yet, as to any disciplinary action Mr. Hooper might face.

Unrelated Sidenote: Valerie McFarlane was also a responding officer to Charlie Sheen's arrest. She took Brooke Mueller's statement.

Update: Things are Still Murky in Aspen & Troy Hooper Suspended
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