BERTHOUD, Colo. (CBS4) – As a highly publicized investigation continues into the chief and an officer in the Berthoud police force, the man temporarily running the department says he’s not sure how long he’ll be interim chief.
Both Police Chief Glenn Johnson and Officer Jeremy Yachik are on leave from the small Larimer County town’s police department as a criminal and internal investigation moves along, and Yachik is now facing charges.
Police in Loveland arrested Yachik at his home on Wednesday. Yachik, 35, faces four misdemeanor counts of child abuse and one count of false imprisonment.
The reason the two employees are on leave is tied to a domestic dispute in which an Yachik’s ex-girlfriend allegedly threatened to do everything she could to have him lose his job, a source recently told CBS4.
The dispute took place in March. Police were called to a home where Yachik and his then-girlfriend Ashley Saint-Roberts were living. Authorities arrested Saint-Roberts after Yachik told police she had struck him, leaving him with a bloody face and broken glasses.
Soon after that a copy of an old video was sent to Johnson. It showed Yachik striking his teenage daughter. The video was shot by Saint-Roberts sometime between a year and a half to 2 years ago. Johnson met with Yachik but did not take disciplinary action.
The video was then sent out again by Saint-Roberts in September, this time to members of the town board and the news media. Town officials then requested an internal investigation of the department by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, and Johnson and Yachik have been placed on leave since.
“Has the town of Berthoud said how long you are going to be on the job now?” CBS4′s Stan Bush asked Larimer County Sgt. John Feyen, who is temporarily in charge of the police force.
“No, they haven’t. We don’t know that yet because there’s still an investigation going on concerning the chief, and we don’t know what that looks like yet,” Feyen said on Wednesday.
Feyen says he has been working to restore faith in the department.
“Just because allegations have been cast upon one member doesn’t mean it has been cast on all members,” he said.
A posting on Berthoud’s city website stated the police department is “running at full capacity” despite the absence of Johnson and Yachik.