Grand jury: Sheriff wrongly charged inmates for Lake County jail costs

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LEADVILLE, Colo. — A grand jury says a central Colorado sheriff’s department wrongly billed inmates more than $16,000 to cover the costs of jailing them.

But the grand jury’s report released Wednesday says they did not have enough evidence to indict former Lake County sheriff Rodney Fenske or jail supervisors.

Prosecutors said all the involved officials have since left the sheriff’s office.

The new sheriff, Amy Reyes, closed the jail this year.

According to the report, the sheriff’s office in 2018 billed inmates for their jail housing and meals without seeking a court order as required under state law.

The grand jury did not review every inmate’s billing records; the scope of its review is not clear.

The report says at least 14 inmates should be repaid for any payments they made.

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