Transparency for elected officials accused of a crime

The City of Greeley voted down being transparent about elected officials criminal records

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  • July 28, 2019 at 11:58 pm
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The Greeley City Police Department chose to charge media outlets $256 for a police report concerning former House Rep. Rochelle Galindo, who was being investigated for sexual assault on a minor. The charges not only exceeded the amount allowed under state law, but when Complete Colorado reporter Sherrie Peif asked the city to waive those fees based on public interest, she was refused. In subsequent meetings when Peif asked City Council to consider new standards that would not charge credentialed media outlets police reports for elected officials or anyone running for public office if they were being investigated for a crime, city staff directly ignored a request by city council to bring back a resolution that would address that, and City Council ignored that city staff did not present what it was asked to.

This fundraiser would pay for the police report on Galindo. Once acquired, Complete Colorado will scan the report into a PDF and post publicly for all to see to stop the City of Greeley from capitalizing on the report far and above the law’s allowance.

No media outlet reporting on this story made the report public, and there are many questions still surrounding the police department’s choice to not recommend charges for sexual assault. Complete Colorado believes the answers are int hat report.

Any money raised above the initial report will go into a fund for future police reports that will also be made public.

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Sherrie Peif joined Complete Colorado as a K-12 Education Reporter in November 2014 after spending the previous 13 years at the Greeley Tribune. While at the Tribune, Sherrie covered everything from sports and general assignment to education and politics. In 2016, she became Complete Colorado’s investigative reporter, covering state wide politics.

Sherrie graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2003 with a degree in Communication Arts and Sciences, News Editorial. She also graduated from Aims Community College in Greeley in 1998 with an Associate of Arts Degree in Communication and in 1999 with a Certificate in Broadcast Television. She also completed all her course work for a Master’s degree in Secondary Education, English Language Arts.

Born and raised in Greeley, where she still lives, Sherrie has one son, who is attending College in Ohio and fulfilling his lifelong dream of pitching at the collegiate level. She enjoys all sports, mostly football and baseball, and spends most of her free time supporting her son and his teams.

Sherrie has won numerous awards for her work over the years from some of the top journalism associations including the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters and the Colorado Press Association (CPA). Her proudest moment was in 2012 when she swept all three places in the Education beat at the CPA Better Newspapers Award Banquet. She competed against education writers from nearly every medium-market daily newspaper in Colorado, such as the Boulder Daily Camera, the Longmont Times Call, the Pueblo Chieftain and the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

While in college at Metro State, Sherrie fondly recalls listening to Jon Caldara on the radio as she commuted from Greeley. She was excited to begin the next step in her career working for Jon and helping shift the paradigm for education reporting. She started that work during the 2015 election where her series “Know Before You Go” got the attention of many mainstream newspapers, which followed her lead with many stories dealing with the Jefferson County Public Schools Board of Education recall effort and the Thompson School District Board of Education fight to separate itself from the union.

She was also part of the successful investigation with Complete Colorado’s Todd Shepherd into misinformation reported by 9News during one of its election “Truth Tests.” The investigation led to a KUSA anchor making an on-air correction and apology for the many factual errors that plagued the station’s original “Truth Test” report. The entire affair was ultimately given a write-up by Columbia Journalism Review.

She is a champion of open records and has used the Colorado law to break many stories uncovering government and other ethical compromises. She uncovered a plan by the Colorado Education Association to organize a state wide teacher walkout that would have caught many school districts off guard otherwise. And she successfully fought Weld County in Weld District Court over the release of the employment files of a county employee, which the county attorney claimed were not open records, as well as exposing the county commissioners for holding ex parte meetings.

She has appeared frequently on several radio talk shows with personalities including Mike Rosen, Mandy Connell, Jimmy Lakey, and Jimmy Sengenberger and is a regular guest on News Talk 1310 KFKA on the Gail Fallen Show as a political analyst and insider.