Lyons residents demand more transparency during FBI probe

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LYONS, Colo. -- Elected officials in Lyons held a public meeting Wednesday night concerning a federal investigation into the management of flood recovery money.

The taxpayer dollars were intended to help victims from widespread flooding in 2013. There are now questions about how town employees handled that money.

Residents, hoping to learn more about the investigation, packed the town council chamber Wednesday to a standing room only capacity. They left the meeting frustrated over the town's lack of transparency.

Town leaders said FBI agents were in Lyons earlier in the week interviewing employees and looking for evidence into alleged mismanaged funds. Shortly thereafter, the town administrator and clerk were placed on temporary paid leave by Mayor Connie Sullivan.

Sullivan refused to detail the investigation for her constituents during the public meeting. She said she is hopeful the investigation will allow the town to correct any alleged mismanagement.

Several months ago, the federal government audited Lyons' use of $36 million of recovery money. At that time, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was directed to monitor the remaining $27 million to avoid misuse.

On advice of counsel, Sullivan said she could not weigh in on who is suspected of wrongdoing and what that wrongdoing might be. Residents say they deserve to know more.

"The FBI is in my town hall and I don't know why," Lyons resident Craig Furguson said. "Now I think the town government just asked the residents of Lyons to dig in and find out because they are not going to tell us."

Last person in mobile home park told to leave

The FBI investigation is underway as the last person living in a flood zone mobile home park has been told she has to leave.

Carrie Gonzales-Davis has lived in Lyons for two decades. Her mobile home and dozens of others were destroyed by flood waters three years ago.

"We had a very beautiful mobile home park," Gonzales-Davis said. "It was not like any other."

After relocating twice during the initial recovery, Gonzales-Davis was hopeful a rental house on the Foothills Mobile Home Park property would be her forever home.

It was one of the few structures not damaged by the flood.

But along with all of the condemned trailers on the property, the home Gonzales-Davis rents will be torn down.

The mobile home park property was the last affordable housing option left in Lyons. The location is slated for redevelopment.

Without options, Gonzales-Davis can't afford to live in Lyons. She will be packing her bags and also taking her small honey business with her.

"I'm going to take everything with me," Gonzales-Davis said. "Take all the honey tanks and everything."

Gonzales-Davis said she has fought town hall but has finally surrendered. She said she will have 90 days to leave after receiving official notice.

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