In what seems like a movie headline Fifty Shades of Corruption within Mesa County government this story will leave you speechless yet wondering how these events continue to happen. Situations like these leaves VetTheGov asking why local citizens come to a blog writer for help. Shameful really that local citizens must rely on an independent blog for help when they pay for these expected services from the County. So please pay close attention on how and why the local system is not designed for the average citizen.
In the email presented below you will read a battered wife's call for help from Commissioner John Justman via an email on November 17, 2015. The emails title alone County Employee Complaint should have left no doubt the email was valid and needed a response for action. Commissioner Jutman to date has never responded to this delivered email not passed it on to the county administrator for further investigation. The author of the email Barbara Mathes had just recently filed a restraining order against her husband Jerry Mathes for fear of more violence against her. As you will see Jerry had a connection to Mesa County government via his brother Pete Mathes current Mesa County Road & Bridge Construction Manager. In Barbara's call for help she mentions Pete's continued driving to her property in order to intimidate her so her son Wade set up cameras to document the continued harassment, terror, and intimidation by Pete and Jerry as noted in the email below to Commissioner Justman.
With multiple complaints lodged with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office there has been very little performed to stop this harassment and intimidation by Pete and Jerry Mathes. Instead it appears because of Pete's influence within the county government they are receiving favored decisions by road deputies. For instance on December 1, 2015 Barbara stopped by her home around 4 PM to pick up the mail and found Jerry, Pete, and multiple others at the house going through everything at the house. Barbara called 911 again since the final mediation order had not yet been signed properly for Jerry to return to the house. Upon the deputy arriving and meeting Pete and Jerry at the residence the deputy apparently knew Pete and they shook hands. After the meeting with Jerry and Pete the deputy went back to Barbara and told her she needed to leave immediately. Barbara was adamant about the status of the order and asked the deputy to call the court house to verify. Ultimately Barbara was still required to leave. The courts have also requested twice for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office to collect Jerry Mathes' guns to no avail and Barbara suspects Pete is in possession and so the Sheriff's Office's won't pursue the order due to the relationship Pete has with other county employees within this department.
In yet another twist, Jerry & Barbara's daughter Stacy Seriani who lives in Paonia, CO had all three of her kids removed from school around December 14, 2015 and interrogated by Mesa County Department of Human Services workers one being a Sarah Evans Senior Case Manager and another unidentified DHS employee. The investigation and interrogation arose from an anonymous complaint stating that Stacy and her husband Jon F. Seriani, both Paonia High School coaches, were using methamphetamines. No local authorities such as the Delta County Sheriff or Delta County DHS were notified prior to this contact of the kids by Mesa County DHS. The parents are stating their kids ages 7, 10, and 16 are receiving therapy after the questioning they had to endure and let's just say they were very intrusive. Interesting to note in the questioning of the kids were several references and concerns regarding their Grandmother Barbara Mathes. Upon Stacy contacting Mesa County DHS and speaking to Sarah Evan's supervisor Lynette Overmeyer requesting a report of the situation which was unfounded to determine who made the wrongful allegations. Lynette offered the report to Stacy and called her to confirm it was ready but when Stacy arrived to gather the report she was told it would not be available for another 60 days. In the meantime Stacy has had to get her own restraining order against her father Jerry for continued harassment by phone.
VetTheGov has many concerns regarding the government side of this equation. First and foremost is the no response from Commissioner Justman regarding a plea for help. VetTheGov isn't surprised as many emails have gone unanswered from Commissioner Justman in the recent past as well. But what if Barbara Mathes was harmed after sending out this plea? It places massive blame and liability on the county taxpayers for the inability of a county commissioner to respond to constituents especially an email whose subject stated: COUNTY EMPLOYEE COMPLAINT. VetTheGov will pursue county records proving the email was opened and viewed and will update as soon as the information becomes available. VetTheGov will also attempt to contact Commissioner Justman and ask if he recalls the email. VetTheGov has set an appointment with Frank Whidden to discuss the original complaint to make sure it moves forward. Again stay tuned as VetTheGov will keep you updated.
VetTheGov will also be setting appointments with the Sheriff to discuss why so much inaction from this county department regarding this case. If the citizens of Mesa County are to have any trust in matters where there are conflicts of interest with Mesa County employees then the public needs reassuring they can count on fairness and equal protection with no signs of favoritism displayed or used.
VetheGov is very disappointed in the behavior of Mesa County DHS in that powers granted to agents that can simply take kids and interrogate them in any jurisdiction without any form of due process or notification in other jurisdictions is beyond belief and should be independently investigated immediately by a third party entity!
Stay tuned as VetTheGov will keep you updated on any other documents received as well as after meetings are attended.