Jim Winder does not play well with others. One of the nicest things I can say about him is he will never be accused of being a politician.
When he was hired as chief of police, the City of Moab was desperate to find a replacement for Moab Chief of Police Michael Navarre, who quit suddenly.
Winder took advantage of the situation. He demanded and received a salary of about $150,000 a year, more than what Chief Navarre was getting.
Chief Winder is disturbingly thin-skinned, something I experienced firsthand after I politely wrote asking to see him about the behavior of one of his officers. Winder refused to call me for three months. Eventually I had to call the mayor and the city manager before he relented to call me back.
According to Winder’s daily appointment calendar I obtained (thank you, GRAMA), he did very little in his first year. Parts of his appointment calendar were blank. What little he did as chief of police was mostly ceremonial.
In my opinion, he took the job in Moab to remove himself from a toxic situation he helped create in Salt Lake County while collecting the same salary. During his subsidized hiatus here, he began the task of looking for a “real” job back in Salt Lake. That real job turns out to be chief of investigations for the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office, something he forgot to tell the good people of Moab last week when he announced he was leaving.
I hope the new job isn’t too political for Winder. I wish him luck. I also think he owes Moab an apology for his cynical use of the people and resources of this community.