Former CSU top cop Dexter Yarbrough's past follows him

Dexter Yarbrough has had a tough year when it comes to the media. He took a leave from his position as Colorado State University police chief in December in relationship to what was called a "personnel investigation." Then, the following month, Rocky Mountain Collegian student journalist David McSwane added to his misery in a story that also ran in the Denver Post. Its centerpiece: a recording from a class appearance in which Yarbrough said informants might be paid off with "ten of those crack cocaine rocks."

Yarbrough resigned from CSU in March -- and this week, he quit a job as a police officer at Northern Illinois University, too. Why? Neither NIU nor Yarbrough have offered public explanations thus far. But here's a likely factor: On July 10, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle published a large article about Yarbrough's CSU past, noting that the university had confirmed to the Fort Collins Coloradoan that a sexual-harassment allegation had been filed against the former chief. This info was soon picked up by the Associated Press; within hours, a shorter version of the piece was on newspaper websites across the country, including the Chicago Tribune's. Three days later, Yarbrough submitted his resignation.

The press is being battered from all sides these days -- but it hasn't entirely lost its power. Dexter Yarbrough knows that from personal experience.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts