If there's a rift between Sheriff John Burns and Jefferson County legislators — and much evidence suggests that there is — it wasn't on display Tuesday night.
Mr. Burns made his first appearance at a meeting of legislators this year that night. Before the Finance and Rules Committee convened, several legislators — including all those named in my above story — chatted briefly and amicably with the top law enforcement official in the county.
Handshakes, smiles and laughs were the order of the day.
When the Finance and Rules Committee met behind closed doors in executive session to discuss the $50 million lawsuit and several other matters, Mr. Burns and Underhseriff Andrew Neff were instructed to leave. They waited outside the room for an hour and a half as the board discussed legal strategy related to the case.
When it was all over, county attorney David Paulsen spoke briefly with Mr. Burns. Mr. Paulsen asked Mr. Burns if he had a statement he'd like to make to the board. Mr. Burns said no.
Legislators decided to no longer speak to the media about the case. So that leaves one only to speculate about what was discussed — a possible independent investigation, and the question of whether Mr. Paulsen will continue to represent the county when the lawsuit wends its way through the legal system.