Gwen Lachelt is a tireless public servant who is in the last year of her second term as county commissioner. Recently, allegations have accused her of conflict-of-interest, due to her creation of the Western Leaders Network, a non-profit environmental conservation organization.
Lachelt’s response to these allegations was to invite a full ethics review by the Eagle County Attorney who deemed that there were no ethical violations. Lachelt has always put La Plata County first.
The goals of the Western Leaders Network completely align with her goals as commissioner – realizing benefit for the region as she promotes the best interest of La Plata County residents.
It is no coincidence that those who brought the allegations of wrongdoing are backed by the big money of the Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas lobby group, and others. Commissioner Lachelt is their target, in part, because of her work to advocate for the restrictions of the BLM Methane Venting and Flaring Rule.
We must resist the undermining of our elected officials – especially one of our best public health advocates, as Gwen Lachelt surely is! Unfortunately, these attacks will increase in number and severity as the battle for the environment heats up.
I regret that The Durango Herald (Nov. 18) chose to publicly attack Commissioner Lachelt. She is only doing her job to the best of her ability.