What really happened to Bill Elder’s IA file?
We were contacted by an individual who told us how and why Bill Elder’s IA file was stolen. They provided us information with the promise to keep their name out of it. We do not believe they provided us all the information they had; we assume they were trying to protect some one. We put this “story” together based on the information from this person and from other sources. It was interesting how their story “fit” the facts we received from others. We do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this story. We offer it only for your reading pleasure. Read the story and if you think it makes sense you can agree with it; if not, disagree. We felt the explanation made sense and could possibly explain how and why the file went missing. Those within the Sheriff’s Department will be the best judges.
Let’s go back to the spring of 2013. It’s still about a year away from the first political meeting that will decide who will be the republican candidate for Sheriff. At this point, potential candidates are most likely determining their campaign strategies and their weaknesses. Makes sense, if you have any issues it’s better to reveal them early and drop out. According to a source, Bill Elder paid an attorney to do a full background check on him just to make sure nothing turned up. You have to wonder why someone would feel the need to do this.
It was around this time that on April 8, 2013 a routine request made to Lt. Cheryl Peck started a fire storm that’s still burning today. She was asked to go to the Internal Affair (IA) archive room and retrieve an old IA file. What she discovered was anything but routine; the William “Bill” Elder IA file was missing. She noticed it because the outer hanging folder, with his name on it, was still there raised up a little and empty. At first she thought maybe it was checked out, but she confirmed it was not listed in the log. She asked her two sergeants; Scott Deno and Rob Stone if they had signed it out or given it to anyone. She did say in her courtroom testimony there had been a problem with files being “checked” out for review but not logged so she confirmed with them to be sure. After confirming it was not logged out she notified her supervisor Commander Bob McDonald. He did not appear too concerned and told them to close everything up and he would tell the undersheriff.
Surprisingly nothing happens for months. But there is something Lt. Peck confirms in her testimony; McDonald tells her a few days later he called Bill Elder and told him about the missing file. So this confirms that Bill Elder knew he had an IA file back in early 2013. So every time after this date when he said to the media or anyone else that he never thought he had an IA file, he was lying. Bob McDonald told him he had a file and that it was missing. What’s also interesting is that McDonald, according to Peck, told her he was not going to tell the sheriff he called Elder and if she knew what was good for her she would not tell him either. So, there is evidence to suggest Bob McDonald was spying for Bill Elder as early as the spring of 2013.
Why isn’t there an investigation? Maybe because there is no evidence or leads. Sometimes it’s better to wait until someone slips up and says something. About 6 months goes by and someone says something that causes the investigation to take off. Chief Breister is in IA talking with Lt. Peck and she tells him about the missing IA file. Out of the blue he says; “I bet Gerhart did it” and also incriminates Charles Kull. Why would he throw them under the bus? Good question.
During the investigation many people are interviewed and a few are asked to take either CVSAs (computer voice stress analysis) or polygraphs. The results of these tests give a good idea who was being truthful and who was not.
So, here is the story provided to us:
There was never any plan to “steal” the IA file. Elder just wanted to know what was in it and remove any items that might jeopardize his campaign. The goal was to remove it, review it, sanitize it, and return it. That would explain why the “outer” hanging folder was left behind. That way they could return the “sanitized” IA file back to its original location. The problem was Elder wanted to see the file for himself. So, this required them to take it for a few days. Think about it; odds are multiple people would know Bill Elder had an IA file or might have seen it. If they stole it and someone went looking for it they would know it was gone. But if you just “sanitized” it the odds of someone figuring it out was much less. So stealing it was never the goal. They just wanted to clean it up and return it.
But there was a problem they had not anticipated. Cheryl Peck going to the archive room and opening that specific file cabinet and drawer. Murphy’s law got them. She discovered the file missing and now there was a problem. No one could admit to taking it out to review it because that would have brought suspicion on them. They had to let it play out. So, ask yourself; does it now make sense why Bob McDonald called Elder right away?
Because of the recent trial we now know Ray Gerhart and Charles Kull failed their CVSA examinations on questions concerning the missing IA file. Did you know Bob McDonald failed a polygraph concerning the missing IA file as well? Is that interesting? What would you say if Rob Stone, who at the time worked in IA, also failed a polygraph concerning the missing IA file? What was that? Someone who worked in IA at the time the file went missing could not pass a polygraph? That same person, according to Chuck Kull’s sworn testimony, provided him confidential information letting him know how his IA investigation was going. Kull testified he decided, based on this information, to resign prior to coming back in for additional questioning concerning the missing IA file.
We were told by our source that Rob Stone appeared to show some deception in his original CVSA so he was asked to take a Polygraph. It was during this polygraph he admitted he had actually seen Bill Elder’s IA file and read it. During his initial interview with investigators he said he never saw it. So he admitted he lied to the investigators. It was also during this polygraph that it was determined he showed deception concerning the missing IA file and specifically about if he knew who took the IA file.
According to our source, Rob Stone and Bob McDonald were both involved with the removal of the IA file. This is supported by their deception in their polygraphs and/or CVSAs. We were not told if Stone actually removed the file and gave it to McDonald or if McDonald just used Stone’s keys and took the file himself.
Update to article (07/16/17): We were contacted by another source who read our article. They provided us additional information to include that Rob Stone showed deception in a CVSA examination where he was asked the direct question; “Did your take Bill Elder’s file?” While reviewing audio recordings of interviews we found where Rob Stone was confronted with this fact. Listen to his response. Note that in Stone’s response he uses the “rule of three” which indicates deception. He is clear in his response he never took the file, never looked in the file and did not know if Bill Elder ever had a file. But according to our source Rob Stone later admits during a polygraph examination he did see the file and even read it. So that would indicate Rob Stone was not being truthful during his interviews with investigators. Does these facts clearly show Rob Stone is the most likely person who took Bill Elder’s IA file? Remember he worked in IA at the time and had the keys to access the files. Would this explain why he quickly retired when confronted with the facts? Would this also explain why Bill Elder rehired him shortly after taking office? Is this yet another great example of Bill Elder’s corruption?
Remember, during the trial Lt Peck said under oath she was told by Bob McDonald that he called Bill Elder a couple days after the IA file was discovered missing to tell him his file was gone. He also said that he felt it was Elder’s right to know. But according to Bob McDonald he never said that. So that means either Lt Peck lied under oath or Bob McDonald lied in an interview with an investigator. We obtained a copy of an audio recording of the interview with Bob McDonald. Listen to him talking about it. Listen to interview. In that same interview McDonald suggests Todd Evans, who was the chief of Police at Fountain PD, saw the missing IA file because he tells McDonald there is nothing in it. Listen to interview. At that time, Bill Elder was the Deputy Chief of Fountain PD. If Todd Evans saw the file you know Bill Elder had possession of it or at a minimum saw it. Either way, they knew who stole it.
At this point, we will probably never know for sure what happened; but our information does support that Bill Elder received or saw the missing IA file. What we do know is that, according to Lt Peck, McDonald told Elder about the missing file a couple days after it was discovered missing. Ray Gerhart in his testimony says when he called Bill Elder in December of 2013, he (Elder) already knew about the missing IA file and told him all about it. So, Elder has been lying all this time when he said he did not know he had an IA file. We know Ray Gerhard, Charles Kull, Rob Stone and Bob McDonald all showed deception when given either a CVSA or Polygraph about the missing IA file. Then during an interview, McDonald says Todd Evans tells him to basically not worry about it because “there was no information there what so ever” referring to Bill Elder’s IA file. How could Evans make this statement unless he saw the actual Bill Elder IA file? And if Evans saw it you know Elder saw it.
It’s clear after the Maketa trial and with the additional information we have obtained there was a Bill Elder IA file, it was stolen, and most likely Bill Elder had possession of it or at a minimum saw it.
We provide the facts; you decide what to believe.