MOFFAT — Moffat Mayor Patricia Reigel appeared before Municipal Judge Anna Ulrich Wednesday, Aug. 26, to answer charges of official misconduct and official oppression and has since learned she now faces new charges of third-degree assault, a Misdemeanor 1.
According to an unconfirmed source, Reigel, represented by public defender John Hoag, pled not guilty to the misconduct and oppression charges and requested a jury trial. The Saguache Sheriff’s Office served her with a summons Monday on the assault charges, which stem from an incident that occurred in July 2020.
As reported by Saguache County Undersheriff James McCloskey, Reigel was involved in a dispute with Kristin Marie Ecklund and her husband Kenneth Skoglund, both Moffat town trustees at the time, also former Moffat town clerk Sarah Van Horn. Ecklund came to town hall to protest Van Horn’s presence since she was no longer an employee.
She told McCloskey she suspects Van Horn of financial misconduct and this is why she protested her presence at the town hall. In the past, Ecklund herself has been accused of possible financial misdealings both regarding Moffat and the Baca Grande POA, her former employer.
According to Ecklund, during her dispute with Van Horn and Reigel, Reigel grabbed her upper arm and left marks. McCloskey could see reddening on her arm, he states in his report. Reigel claimed she was only trying to defend Van Horn from Ecklund, and Van Horn told McCloskey both Reigel and Ecklund were grappling with each other, but she did not see exactly what happened. Van Horn told McCloskey that when she finally left the building, Ecklund followed her to her car yelling at her.
Since the upheaval in Moffat over the questionable annexation and the advent of Area 420/Potch LLC, town trustees, town employees and the Mayor have disagreed over how the situation should be handled. One observer commented Monday that trust issues are such that no one trusts anyone any longer.
The unrest has even extended to the Area 420/Potch LLC owners and managers who were once very friendly and accommodating with Reigel, but who recently have seemed to blame her for the outcome of an incident that occurred in May on Area 420 property. Following issues stemming from the incident, Ecklund resigned her trustee position.
McCloskey turned the complaint over to District Attorney Robert Willett and Willett preferred charges against Reigel. Reigel has been summoned to appear in Saguache Municipal Court on the assault charges Sept. 16 at 8:30 a.m. She will appear on the official misconduct and oppression charges again on Sept. 9.