Vitor Yahn, one of the people Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland appointed to the Mesa County Board of Public Health on an interim basis after the original Board resigned en masse, has himself resigned from the Board.
The entire original Board of Health resigned after Rowland pressured them relentlessly to fire Health Department Director Jeff Kuhr, and they refused, and Rowland threatened to fire them all. It was questionable whether the move would have been legal, but the Board resigned rather than face a hearing with a predetermined outcome.
Rowland has been accusing Dr. Kuhr of financial wrongdoing for months, but Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein investigated Dr. Kuhr and found insufficient evidence that Kuhr engaged in any financial wrongdoing, or acted to benefit himself in any way.
Yahn agreed to serve on the Board on May 24, with two other members, Dr. Michael White and Mona Highline. Highline is a friend of Rowland’s.
Yahn’s decision to leave comes just one week after a contentious public hearing in which a parade of prominent local business leaders and citizens stepped up to the microphone to defend Dr. Kuhr, in some cases castigating and shaming Rowland for intentionally defaming Kuhr and working to ruin his reputation instead of working to fix the problems the Health Department was having with following County procurement policies.
A full video of the contentious Board of Health meeting can be seen here. The public comment period begins at 1:50:42.
People who spoke in favor of Dr. Kuhr at the meeting included Doug Simons, owner of Enstrom Candies, former Mesa County Commissioners Kathy Hall and Jim Spehar, the owner of The Winery restaurant, the owner of Crossroads Fitness, Diane Schwenke, former president of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, a representative of the Latino community, a registered nurse, a former banker, former CMU President Tim Foster, who is now Kuhr’s attorney, and other community members. The video of the comment period is worth a watch.
Below is a clip of Victor Yahn shouting down Kathy Hall, who defended Kuhr and continued speaking after her 3 minutes was up: