Balloon Boy Sheriff Won't be Charged For Blabbing About Child Welfare Investigation
NEW YORK (CBS/AP) The Colorado sheriff who disclosed that "Balloon Boy's" parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, were being investigated by child welfare officials will not face criminal charges, according to a special prosecutor.
PICTURES: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident
David Lane, attorney for Richard Heene, father of the infamous "Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene, claimed the revelation by Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden violated privacy laws.
However, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, appointed as a special prosecutor to consider Lane's complaint, said Tuesday that Alderden disclosed no information from the Department of Social Services.
Alderden said he wasn't surprised by Garnett's decision, adding that Lane's complaint was typical of the attorney's tactics of "attack, distract and discredit."
Lane responded by saying, "When law enforcement breaks the law, I attack." He added: "Unfortunately I usually have to rely on other law enforcement to do something about it."
Lane said he disagreed with the district attorney's conclusion.
"This is a typical law enforcement investigating law enforcement whitewash," he said. But he added there was nothing he could do about the decision.
The Heenes are under investigation for reporting that their 6-year-old son, Falcon, had drifted away on a homemade balloon that broke loose from its tethers Oct. 16 in Fort Collins. The report set off a mad scramble by police, firefighters, National Guard and media helicopters as the UFO-shaped balloon flew 50 miles across northern Colorado.
The balloon eventually crashed into a field, and authorities soon discovered no one was on board. That sparked fears the boy had fallen out until he was found safe at home. He said he had been hiding because he was afraid he was in trouble.
Alderden has accused the parents of lying and staging a hoax for publicity while trying to land a reality TV show. The Heene family went on national television to plead their case, but Falcon Heene, the boy believed to have been in the balloon, told Larry King "we did this for the show." His father has remained adamant that it was not a hoax.
The Larimer County district attorney is considering whether to file charges against the family.
Lane said it's just a matter of time before the Heenes are charged.
Photos: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident
Audio: Richard Heene's Frantic 911 Call
MORE ON CRIMESIDER
October 26, 2009 - "Balloon Boy" Family Says Sheriff Talks Too Much; Heene Lawyers Want Criminal Probe
October 26, 2009 - "Balloon Boy" Sheriff Jim Alderden Blogs About God, Guns, and Gay Rights
October 22, 2009 - Balloon Mom Will "Go Down With the Ship"
October 21, 2009 - Could Child Protective Services Take Balloon Boy from Richard and Mayumi Heene?
October 20, 2009 - Balloon Boy Story Keeps Floating: Police Question Richard Heene's Associate Robert Thomas
October 19, 2009 Balloon Boy Dad Richard Heene, Not His First Close Encounter With the Law
October 19, 2009 - Richard Heene, Balloon Boy's Father, Wears Bra, Makeup While Ranting on YouTube
October 19, 2009 - Aliens Spoke to Balloon Boy's Father Richard Heene at a Fast-Food Restaurant
October 19, 2009 - Balloon Boy Dad Richard Heene Thinks World Will End in 2012; Will He Be Out of Jail by Then
October 19, 2009 - Balloon Boy Family's Homophobic Rant in Rap Video
October 19, 2009 - "Mad Scientist" Richard Heene Cooked Up Balloon Boy Hoax Months Ago, Says Denver Man
October 16, 2009 - Balloon Boy Drama Was "Real Event," Says Sheriff
October 16, 2009 - Balloon Boy Falcon Heene 911 Call Released
October 16, 2009 - It Sure Wasn't Altitude Sickness, But Balloon Boy Falcon Heene Throws Up Twice on National TV
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