Darwin Floyd, who lives on a former mining claim surrounded by the Pike National Forest, some 15 miles north of Divide, filed the complaints on Nov. 19.
Under a little-used state law, anyone can submit criminal complaints to a court. Floyd filed his complaints in Teller County Court, accusing four members of the sheriff's office of official misconduct, perjury, official oppression, and trespassing.
The officers are Sheriff Kevin Dougherty, Undersheriff Marcus Woodward, and deputies Greg Griswould and Mark Foky.
As recently reported by the Independent, Floyd himself is being prosecuted in the 4th Judicial District Court, after sheriff's deputies ticketed him for locking a gate across a road that intersects his property. Teller County claims the road is public; Floyd says it's private [See "Rules of the Road," Nov. 13-20, at www.csindy.com].
Floyd claims the sheriff's office broke the law in initiating a "malicious and unfounded" case against him. Teller County Court Clerk Sheri Porter said District Attorney Jeanne Smith must now decide whether to prosecute or drop the charges.
In an interview Sheriff Dougherty said the county has told the sheriff's office that the road across Floyd's property is public. Based on that information, deputies were obligated to enforce the law when Floyd blocked the road, Dougherty said.
"I feel we're taking appropriate action," Dougherty said.
-- Terje Langeland