EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — A man running for sheriff in Eagle County was arrested after a candidate forum Wednesday night for outstanding traffic tickets.
During their debate, Republican incumbent James Van Beek said he was the only candidate in the two-person sheriff’s race who didn’t have outstanding warrants, referencing his opponent, Paul Agneberg.
"I'm the only candidate that's sitting here in front of you tonight who doesn't have outstanding warrants for his arrest," he said.
Following closing statements, Agneberg was taken into custody by the Eagle County Sheriff's Office. Undersheriff Dan Loya participated in the arrest.
Denver7 Investigates confirmed Agneberg, 37, had outstanding traffic tickets in both Eagle and Lake counties.
According to court documents obtained by Denver7, in 2021, Agneberg was arrested in both counties for various traffic violations, including failure to provide proof of insurance, driving without a license, driving an unregistered vehicle, and expired plates. Court records show Agneberg filed several motions to dismiss the charges and failed to show up for court hearings.
Agneberg is now calling his Wednesday arrest "invalid," saying he wasn't provided a copy of a warrant with a judge's signature at the time of his arrest.
"The sheriff's office provided me with a copy of a warrant with a judge's signature after I had been in jail for over 12 hours," he said during an interview with Denver7.
The candidate also questioned the timing of his arrest, citing public appearances where deputies could've arrested him prior to Wednesday.
"For the town of Eagle, they had a meet and greet for police chief candidates. I showed up to this event because there's people interested in meeting the new police chief, and I'm sure they're interested in meeting candidates for sheriff," Agneberg said. "The undersheriff was there, and he greeted me with a handshake and smile. So if I had a warrant, I didn't know about it. There are several opportunities for them to tell me I had a warrant. "
Denver7 reached out to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, who said Agneberg was shown a computer printout when he was taken into custody which showed the active warrant. The sheriff's office said Agneberg was shown the original warrant, which included a judge's signature, when the courts opened the next day.
Denver7 asked the sheriff's office why Agneberg wasn't arrested before Wednesday night. The sheriff's office released the following statement regarding the timing of the arrest:
"He was arrested in late June for the same thing failure to appear, was issued personal recognizance bonds, failed again to appear for his courts dates, new bench warrants were issued and this was why he was arrested again," the statement said. "We are unaware of him appearing at any events where deputies who knew him and knew if he was wanted aside from last Wednesday evening."