Fire Weather Watch issued March 31 at 3:14AM MDT expiring April 1 at 7:00PM MDT in effect for: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, El Paso, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Saguache
A former employee of an Adams County paving company was found not guilty, but two other employees and a public works manager still face trial in a contracts-for-gifts scandal first uncovered by the CALL7 Investigators.Louie Schimpf, 57, faced more than 30 felony counts after prosecutors accused him of helping the managers of Quality Paving and Quality Resurfacing bilk the county out of millions of dollars in contracts.Schimpf said he was just following the orders of his bosses and did not know that the invoices were improper. His bosses, former Quality Paving president Dennis Coen and former owner Jerry Rhea, are scheduled for trial in December.The investigation started after a CALL7 Investigation showed that the county awarded millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to Quality Paving and Resurfacing companies over several years.The company also received contract extensions with no bid and contracts where the company was not the lowest bidder, records show. Records and former employees indicated that top county public works officials received free work on their homes and gifts from Quality Paving officials.Lee Asay, the director of Adams County Public Works who had signed off on the contracts, retired after the 7NEWS reports. He has not been charged.Former county contract manager Sam Gomez also faces trial in December, and another former county employee and a former Quality Paving employee pleaded guilty for a deferred judgment.A jury Wednesday evening believed Schimpf, who was not part of the CALL7 reports, did not know of the alleged fraud and found him not guilty of all the charges.