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The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued the following press release after arresting sheriff’s candidate Paul Agneberg Thursday following a debate with incumbent Republican Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek:
Running for Sheriff when you have a pattern of only showing up to court under bench warrants, is certainly a new approach to campaigning. Judges don’t take kindly to no-shows when they have allowed someone out on bail or on their own recognizance. It elevates a relatively minor offense to a whole new level, consequently, one can be taken into custody at unanticipated times.
An individual with an outstanding warrant is added to a national database that can be accessed by any law enforcement officer at any time. There are similar databases available to members of the public, as outstanding warrants are generally open for inspection.
Paul Agneberg was already in the database for previous similar offenses, and he was familiar to several deputies. Agneberg had active warrants from both Eagle County and Lake County for failure to appear in court. The Undersheriff was made aware and passed this information onto Mr. Agneberg, prior to the candidate forum.
As law enforcement, we are obligated to comply with all warrants issued but can use discretion in how it is handled. In this case, we determined that he wasn’t a threat to the community and the arrest could wait until after the candidate forum so that Agneberg could make his candidacy positions heard.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office used the utmost discretion in enforcing the warrant. Afterward, Sheriff James van Beek stated, “I admire my deputies for always doing their jobs, without fear of reprisal or political repercussions, and for executing restraint in effectuating the arrest, until after the candidate forum.”
We encourage Mr. Agneberg to handle these outstanding matters so that he is not put into a similar position in the future. It is now up to a Judge.