Why Sheriff Jim Alderden Won't Be Charged in Balloon-Boy Fiasco

November 2009
alderdenIn the sometimes confusing balloon-boy universe, Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden almost faced charges for his role in the fiasco---almost. Somewhere along the story's time line, the outspoken and camera-friendly Alderden had disclosed that social-services workers were asked to investigate the Heene family, who prior to the balloon-boy incident appeared on ABC's "Wife Swap." The Heene family's attorney, David Lane, claims Alderden was trying to make the family look bad in the public eye. But Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, serving as a special prosecutor, disagrees, stating in a letter released yesterday that there will be no charges against Alderden (via the Fort Collins Coloradoan). "Although Sheriff Alderden references the fact that the Department of Social Services has become involved, he discloses no data or information obtained from a Department of Social Services report, nor does he improperly release any identifying information obtained from records or reports of child abuse," Garnett writes. "Thus, no criminal charges are warranted."