Former Lone Tree chief seeks Pueblo sheriff's seat

Longtime top cop started career in Pueblo County


Former Lone Tree Police Chief Steve Hasler is running for sheriff in Pueblo County. Hasler, Lone Tree's first chief, served from the department's 2004 launch until his controversial August 2012 firing.

Hasler, who worked for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office in the early '90s, seeks to unseat current Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor. He did not return calls requesting comment on his campaign.

Hired in 2004 to head Lone Tree's police department, Hasler was dismissed "without cause" by former Lone Tree City Manager Jack Hidahl in 2012.

Hasler filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in March 2013, alleging retaliatory termination. He consistently maintained the action was linked to a harassment/hostility complaint filed against Hidahl from a female police department employee.

Hidahl, who retired in January after 18 years as city manager, never discussed the reasons for Hasler's dismissal. He also declined to comment on the former chief's Pueblo County campaign.

Lone Tree city attorney Neil Rutledge said he has no new information on Hasler's case.

"He filed a complaint with the EEOC; I have heard nothing since," Rutledge said Feb. 12.

Hasler's attorney Michael Mills said his office has not received notification the case has been dismissed; he believes it is under investigation by the EEOC.

An EEOC spokesman said it cannot comment on cases, even to confirm or deny a charge was filed.

Hasler worked for the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office in 1991. He met his wife in Pueblo, and the couple started their family there, before he accepted a job with the Manitou Springs Police Department. He was Erie's police chief for 10 years before taking the job in Lone Tree.

Formerly a resident of Parker, county records show Hasler and his wife bought a home in Pueblo in June 2013.

Lone Tree hired former Lakewood police commander Jeff Streeter as its second chief a year ago.