Is the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office being Investigated by the Department of Justice for misuse of public funds?
A source close to Sheriff Bill Elder confirmed that last fall the Department of Justice (DOJ) completed an audit of the Special Investigation Fund (SIF), which is managed by The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO), and found some “irregularities” and/or fraud with the handling of these accounts. The severity of these “irregularities” were such that the funds, which total approximately 900k, were frozen until further notice.
These funds are obtained by federal agencies in drug and other related asset seizures. They are then distributed back to local agencies to support “Special Investigations”. Locally these funds are distributed to CSPD, EPSO, Manitou Springs PD, Fountain PD, Teller County S.O. and the 4th Judicial District Attorneys Office. EPSO is solely responsible for the management of these funds.
So, were these funds frozen because of illegal activity by EPSO? Was there evidence of Fraud? Would the Feds freeze funds for minor issues? We can only assume they were frozen due to incompetence or fraud.
Why wasn’t the media or public notified? From our source these funds have been frozen for almost 6 months. It should be easy to confirm these funds are frozen; and EPSO should be able to provide a reason and a letter from DOJ. Contact Jackie Kirby (520-7183) the PIO for EPSO and ask if the SIF accounts have been frozen and if you can have a copy of the letter notifying them. Or contact CSPD and ask them. The next logical question would be “why?”
Let’s see if our local media will follow up.