Chief Lincoln Investigated for Theft in 2014
Many employees have expressed their anger over Bill Elder bringing back all the corrupt commanders and staff from the prior administration. Elder promised things would be different, but how can that be possible with all the same people? One of the commanders Bill Elder brought back was his cousin (according to Elder himself); Mitch Lincoln. Lincoln has at least one sexual harassment complaint, was criminally investigated for theft, and was accused of tampering with evidence in a sex assault investigation.
The phrase used by many employees is; “Same Clowns; Different Circus”.
According to sources close to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO); Mitch Lincoln was criminally investigated by EPSO in 2014 for falsifying his time cards. This doesn’t sound like a big deal until you understand the whole situation.
Every employee is required to complete and submit a time card to their supervisor for approval. Back in 2013, the procedure was no one approves their own time submission. Remember, this is taxpayer money; there needs to be two person control to eliminate fraud. So, many of the commanders would simply complete/submit their timecards and have their admin/secretary “approve” it.
According to our sources, Some time in the spring of 2013, Commander Lincoln went to his administrative assistant and told her to stop documenting his time in “on duty” (the application used by staff to record hours). He told her there had been a policy change and they no longer wanted subordinates completing/approving their superior’s time cards. We have confirmed no such direction was ever given. In fact, quite the opposite; Command staff was directed to ensure no one was completing/approving their own time cards.
From that point going forward, it appears Commander Lincoln never entered vacation or sick time on his time cards submissions. There is no way this could have been an accident or he forgot over and over again. Commander Lincoln still completed his time cards on schedule; he just did not enter in his sick/vacation time. Prior, when there was two person control he entered in his sick/vacation. Plus, he can not claim someone changed his time cards because the system had “logging” which would record every modification/change to the time cards, and who made the changes. This went on for months. EPSO has multiple emails where Mitch Lincoln documents his absence, but these times are not reflected on his time cards. Understand Lincoln would be paid for unused sick/vacation when leaving the office. So this could amount to thousands of taxpayer dollars. Or, at a minimum, it would allow him to take more vacation time than he was justified; still theft. Because of his high salary, every day he fraudulently entered his time he was stealing approximately $400.00. It is not clear how many days he claimed he was working when he was not.
Here are some facts of the case; in March of 2013 Mitch Lincoln took some vacations days. They were accurately documented in “on duty” and there are entries by his admin (two person control) confirming his time. In May of 2013, Mitch Lincoln took 8 days of vacation. This time off was confirmed via an email from Mitch Lincoln, but the vacation time is not reflected in “on duty”. Another occurrence happens again in August of 2013 for 2 days of vacation. There are multiple sick/vacation days which are not documented over the next 6-9 months. EPSO matched emails from Mitch Lincoln announcing his sick/vacation times to staff with his time submissions in “on duty”. They confirmed he routinely and consistently took days off without recording them in the system he was familiar using for years. According to our sources all this information is in the EPSO case file.
Just using the 10 days documented above, that is approximately $4,000.00 dollars of taxpayer funds Mitch Lincoln stole. That is a felony in the state of Colorado. If found guilty, Mitch Lincoln would, at a minimum, lose his POST (Peace Officers Standards & Training) certification, disqualifying him from being in law enforcement.
When this situation was discovered a criminal investigation was conducted. After its completion, the chain of command was notified of the results. It is our understanding, the facts were ultimately presented to El Paso County Attorney Diana May who recommended Mitch Lincoln should only receive a letter of reprimand. This is obviously a felony, why would Diana May, who worked at the DA’s office for many years not turn it over to them for review? If a letter of reprimand was suggested by Ms. May it indicates she understood there was wrong doing by Mitch Lincoln.
According to our sources, there was also an investigation against Mitch Lincoln for sexual harassment and tampering with evidence. But after the transition to the new sheriff everything appears to just go away and Mitch Lincoln was brought back and promoted by Bill Elder. So Mitch Lincoln was rewarded for his illegal and inappropriate behavior? Sound like CORRUPTION? We can not confirm Mitch Lincoln ever actually received a letter of reprimand.
A copy of the report will not be published (at this time). But that shouldn’t be a concern; Bill Elder promised to be the most transparent Sheriff EVER! Read story. Just ask him for a copy of the entire report, EPSO case number 14-9737. It goes into great detail how the time cards were verified and how they can not be altered because the application has transaction logs. This case file clearly shows Mitch Lincoln falsified time cards multiple times and stole thousands of dollars of taxpayer money. Why was he never charged with a crime and why did Bill Elder and the county cover it up?