More Evidence of Corruption by Sheriff Elder

 

In an earlier article by DirtyElder.com, evidence was provided showing Sheriff Bill Elder is not spending 1A funds according to the ballot initiative wording. Read Story. Additional information  showing more evidence of corruption has been received by sources within the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO).  Recently, EPSO released a set of documents and a brochure concerning 1A funding.  See Brochure and documents. We found this information interesting.

Multiple sources within EPSO have been telling us for months how Elder has been diverting 1A funds and spending it on items not authorized in the ballot measure.  It’s hard to prove because on the surface it appears Elder is spending the money appropriately. You have to dive deep into the budget to figure out his scheme.  Simply, It appears Elder is paying for positions that use to be paid for with the General Fund (GF) account with 1A funds. This frees up millions in the GF that can be used on anything Elder wants. This is unethical and potentially illegal. Was the 1A tax initiative intending to subsidize the current EPSO budget? “NO”. The question is how can you prove Elder is subsidizing the current EPSO budget with 1A funds in such a way taxpayers can clearly understand what is going on?  As it turns out Bill Elder’s own brochure gave us what we needed.  In the next few paragraphs we will show clear and convincing evidence of misuse of 1A funds by Sheriff Bill Elder.

Let’s look at the facts:

1A is a tax initiative passed by the El Paso County voters to provide additional financial support to our local public safety. Its goal was to put more deputies on the street and working in the jail.  Read the resolution passed by our county commissioners to place the question on the 2012 ballot. Read Resolution. In both the resolution and the actual ballot measure are these words:

It clearly states 1A funds can only be used for these items and “FOR NO OTHER PURPOSE”.  Does it say anything about remodeling or upgrading the kitchen at CJC (EPSO Jail)?  Remodeling is not “maintenance”. So, why did Bill Elder spend 1.2 Million dollars remodeling the CJC Kitchen? Does this seem reasonable?

From Elder’s 1A brochure:

It clearly states this is a remodel;  not maintenance.  Read the wording of the ballot measure again. The intent of 1A was to enhance public safety, not remodel CJC.  Because Elder used 1A funds to pay for this capital improvement project it gave him 1.2 million of General Fund (GF) money to spend elsewhere. See how the “shell” game works? You pay for everything you can get away with using 1A funds and it frees up GF funds to spend anyway you want.  This is just one example how Bill Elder is misusing 1A funds.

Let’s look at the numbers:

From Elder’s 1A brochure:

This chart indicates the number of deputies assigned to patrol.  The problem; these numbers are completely misleading.  Prior to 1A there were 59 deputies assigned to patrol. With 1A there were originally suppose to be 40 more deputies added. Read Original 1A staffing document.  Later that amount was raised to 44. So, there should be over 100 deputies assigned to patrol. Where are these deputies? The purpose of 1A was to put more deputies on the street (enhance public safety), not subsidize the current EPSO budget. So, EVERY 1A position should be a “NEW” position.  (This is the key in understanding how Bill Elder is “stealing” funds from 1A.) How many Deputies were assigned to patrol before Elder took office? According to the authorization chart Bill Elder used when he took office in January 2015 there were 94 (58 Deputies funded by the GF and 36 funded by 1A). See Chart.  So, instead of +19 like Elder wants you to believe; after he took office Elder reduced patrol by 16 deputies. This is why they do not show you the numbers in 2014 because it would show 94 patrol deputies and that would prove Elder reduced patrol staffing after taking office. According to the goals set when the 1A tax initiative passed, there should be approximately 30% more deputies working in patrol than Sheriff Elder currently has assigned. Does it appear Elder is committed to public safety?

FACT: After taking office in January of 2015, Sheriff Bill Elder reduced the number of deputies in Patrol by over 15%

Check out these documents: 2013 Auth Chart including 1A additional staffing.; 2013 Revised Authorization chart including 1A staffing

The first document shows 40 additional patrol deputies were to be added with 1A. The second chart shows 44 new positions in patrol. Former Sheriff Terry Maketa added 36 of the authorized 44 prior to his retirement (58+36 = 94) in December of 2014.  There should be over 100 deputies currently assigned to patrol,  but according to Elder’s own brochure there are only 78. If Elder had made no changes after taking office there would still be 94 deputies in patrol. So, Elder has made our county less safe since taking office by reducing patrol by 16 positions; 26 less than 1A was designated to provide.

Elder wants you to believe he added 19 deputies to patrol when he actually removed 16 since taking office. We are less safe today than we were before Elder took office.

Bill Elder’s own brochure shows he is dishonest and corrupt. If Bill Elder is asked about the Patrol numbers he will most likely state he created new specialized units. Problem is these units do not “patrol” districts throughout the county which was the intention of the 1A tax initiative. Many of the Deputies in these specialized units rarely leave the office; how does that help public safety? The goal of 1A was to put more “Boots on the ground”.  Let’s look at the big picture; what is the total number of sworn personnel at EPSO? Prior to 1A there were 411 authorized sworn positions.  Reference chart.  According to Elder’s own brochure there are currently 166 sworn positions being paid for by 1A funds. Simple math; 411+166 = 577. So, there should be 577 sworn positions at EPSO. How many are there?  Currently, around 534.  WHAT?  How can that be? EVERY POSITION FUNDED BY 1A SHOULD BE A “NEW” POSITION. This is the key to understand how Elder is “stealing” from 1A.  Here is the document showing the totals back in January.  Read Document.

At the bottom it shows 166 1A positions and a total of 534 sworn positions.  Again, 1A was to fund additional “new” positions, not subsidize the current budget.  So what happened? Let’s go back to the very same document and check the Patrol numbers.

Notice the number for authorized General Fund (GF) positions is now at 41.  According to Elder’s own brochure, back in 2012 there were 59 deputies assigned to patrol prior to 1A. So Elder lowered the number of patrol deputies being paid for by the GF by 18. The numbers don’t lie (but Elder does).  When Bill Elder took office he lowered the total number of authorized patrol deputies from 94 to 78. So, how much 1A funds is Bill Elder stealing from patrol? 18 X 70k = 1.2 million dollars. This is clear evidence of Elder’s corruption.

FACT: When Elder took office there were 94 positions in Patrol; currently that number is 78.

The evidence is clear and convincing, Sheriff Bill Elder lowered the number of Deputies patrolling the county after taking office.  1A was passed by the voters to put more deputies on the streets, however Bill Elder diverted those funds elsewhere.  Does it appear Sheriff Elder is dedicated to protecting our community?  

Did he need this money to pay his cronies he hired after taking office. Read Story.

Sheriff Bill Elder is playing a “shell” game with the 1A funds. So, how much money are we talking? According to Elder himself, 1A is funding 166 sworn positions. Add that to the 411 pre 1A sworn positions, EPSO should have 577 total sworn positions; they have approximately 534. This means Elder is using 1A funds to pay for 43 traditional (non “new”) positions.   Simple math; 43 X $70,000 = 3 million dollars.

All the documents we have provided are public information;  so, everything can be verified with CORA requests to EPSO.

Let’s review:

In Sheriff Bill Elder’s brochure it suggests he increased the number of Patrol Deputies by 19. In reality; Elder has lowered the number by 16.  What Elder never tells you is that there was suppose to be over 100 deputies in patrol with 1A.  Is Elder being Truthful and Honest; or is he misleading the community?

If you go back and read the original staffing document  you see 1A was originally designed to add 148 new positions.  Additional funds were designated for training and equipment. Elder is currently funding 192 positions (sworn+civilian) with 1A, many of which are not “new” positions.  Because 1A is funding more positions than designed there are less funds for training and equipment. This puts employee’s safety at risk. 1A funds Elder uses for positions that are not “new” is corrupt and dishonest. Not spending 1A funds on training and equipment puts Deputies’ lives at risk.  Bill Elder is corrupt and he should be held accountable for his unethical and illegal behavior.

1A was passed by the voters with the assumption it would fund “new” positions to enhance public safety.  It was not passed to subsidize the General Fund and allow Sheriff Elder to spend the money anyway he wanted.  Elder is being completely dishonest and corrupt with our taxpayer money.  We are talking about millions of dollars. There needs to be an investigation.

The evidence is clear:

If the media wants evidence that Bill Elder is “stealing” funds from 1A; ask Elder these three simple questions:
  1. How many authorized sworn positions were there in 2012 prior to 1A?  Answer 411 (See chart)
  2. How many sworn positions are currently being funded by 1A? Answer 166 (See brochure)
  3. How many authorized sworn positions are there currently at EPSO? Answer 534 (See Elder’s document)
These answers prove that approximately 43 sworn positions that were funded by the General Fund are now being funded by 1A. That’s 3 million dollars each year. TOTALLY CORRUPT.

 

As voters should we care our Sheriff is not spending our taxpayer money the way we indented in a tax initiative passed by us? Should he be held accountable for his actions or should he be able to break the law with no consequences?

 

Bill Elder is stealing approximately 3 million dollars  every year from the 1A tax initiative to fund items originally funded out of the General Fund.

 

Corrupt and Dishonest Sheriff Bill Elder

 

How long will our county commissioners continue to support Bill Elder?  Do they care that Elder is corrupt and misappropriating 3 million taxpayer dollars every year? Are they part of the corruption? Don’t they get a portion of the 1A funds each year; wonder how they are spending the money?

Is partisanship more important than integrity?

 

 

“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light” 

George Washington

 

 

 

Silence is the Endorsement of Corruption