Col. Scott Hernandez to be new Colorado State Patrol chief

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(Photo: CSP)

DENVER — The Colorado State Patrol has named a new leader seven months after its former chief was asked to resign.

Sources told FOX31 Investigative Reporter Tak Landrock that interim chief Col. Scott Hernandez will hold the position permanently. He will be the eighth chief for the department.

Hernandez was put into the interim position in February after former chief James Wolfinbarger resigned.

According to Hernandez’s biography on the State Patrol webpage, “Hernandez is a 26 year veteran of the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Port of Entry.  He began his career with the patrol in January 1991.”

For the first time in the patrol’s history, the leadership surveyed current and past patrol members about the four candidates who were up for the position.

Landrock first reported the Colorado Department of Public safety hired a third party company to investigate the culture of the Colorado State Patrol, but those finding aren’t being released the public

The Colorado Department of Public Safety, which oversees the CSP, told FOX31 Denver the reason is because it is a personnel issue, despite taxpayers paying for the investigation.

The State Patrol faced criticism after two complaints were brought to the State Employment Board by two patrol members who claimed they were discriminated against because they were gay.

Several unnamed sources told Landrock the four month long investigation found no wrong doing by the former chief or others in the State Patrol, but despite the internal investigation findings, Wolfinbarger was asked to resign by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Colorado Department Public Safety Chief Jim Davis, sources said.

Wolfinbarger was paid out $90,000 under the terms of an agreement reached between him and the state. The details of the payout were not being released and under the terms of the deal neither he nor the state are allowed to speak about the payout.