Did Bill Elder Lie about his Past?
Does characters count when it comes to the Sheriff of El Paso county? Bill Elder was elected in November of 2014 and has been our sheriff for over two years. There are many articles in this website that show his corruption during those two years, but what about when he originally worked for the sheriff’s office back in the 80s and 90s?
During the election season of 2014 both Sheriff Maketa and former sheriff John Anderson made statements concerning Bill Elder. But the media wrote it off as political talk during an election. That’s understandable; but what if you have proof? It’s our understanding the Gazette was provided the same information provided in this article. Why did they not publish it? We will publish the reports and let you be the judge.
Bill Elder resigned from the Sheriff’s office back in the spring of 1998. It is not clear exactly when. It appears to be sometime around February to April of 1998. It is our understanding that in February of 1998 Bill Elder was transferred from Metro Vice and Narcotics (VNI) to the Criminal Justice Center (CJC). His replacement at VNI was Lt. Sandra Washburn.
Upon starting her new position at VNI, Lt Washburn conducted an audit of timecards and found irregularities. She talked with Sergeant (Sgt) Bill Claspell who confirmed the timecards were not completed as directed by policy and that Lt. Bill Elder directed him to follow the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) policy instead of using the method directed by El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) policy. This resulted in EPSO deputies receiving more pay than justified by policy.
Lt. Washburn notified the chain of command of the situation and an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation was initiated. Read memo written by Lt. Washburn
According to Washburn’s memo, when Sgt. Claspell arrived at VNI he asked Lt. Bill Elder about the timecards and was directed by Elder to continue using CSPD’s process instead of the process outlined in EPSO policy. Sgt. Claspell admitted he knew the proper way to complete timecards, but followed Lt. Bill Elder’s orders.
In her memo Lt. Washburn noted she talked with “former” Lt. Bill Elder who admitted to knowing the timecards were completed according to CSPD’s policies and not EPSO’s policies. He also tries to justify why he did it. It is clear Bill Elder knows about the situation and at a minimum condoned it. This does not seem like a major infraction because Elder was just trying to get his deputies the same compensation as their counter parts at CSPD. But he did not have the authority and he not only violated EPSO policy; he might have broken the law.
It is common knowledge Bill Elder resigned after being transferred to CJC and being asked to take a polygraph. (Taking a polygraph is routine when leaving VNI) The question is did he know about the IA investigation prior to resigning? According to our sources, he did. When he was notified about an IA investigation and asked to take a polygraph he resigned. Could it be he was concerned about what was going to be revealed in the polygraph? We have received information that might provide another reason why Elder did not want to take a polygraph; we will address that in a future story.
The actual IA was initiated on April 2, 1998 and it only lists Sergeant William Claspell. View document. So, we would assume Bill Elder had already departed the office at this point. Bill Elder would not be the first person to resign prior to their IA investigation being completed. Last year a Lieutenant retired to avoid an investigation. This is a decision made by employees who know an IA Investigation will most likely result in their termination. Did Bill Elder make the decision to leave instead of being demoted or fired?
According to Bill Elder he resigned because he had obtained his realtor’s license and wanted to change careers. But the fact is he did not obtain his license until later. The rumor is he knew he had to quit so he asked an old friend who owned a real estate business if he could work for him. He agreed; so Elder quit and obtained his license.
According to our sources, although Bill Elder resigned they still conducted an investigation against him and the report was placed in his IA file. The only thing that was not completed was the Disposition of Allegation form because he was no longer an employee. See Claspell’s. Unfortunately at this point we will never know what all was in Elder’s IA file because its disappearance appears to be the greatest mystery since an employee was miraculously cured of PTSD the day Elder took office.
According to our source who spoke with former Sheriff John Anderson; Elder was transferred to CJC prior to his resignation and it is Anderson’s opinion Bill Elder resigned to avoid the IA investigation. But Anderson stated Elder was upset at being transferred to the Jail. John Anderson thought Bill Elder might have committed a crime and regretted not initiating a criminal investigation. Because Elder resigned, Anderson let it go.
Read the actual IA investigation report completed by then Sgt Hartman. Does it sound like Lt. Bill Elder was confused about what he did? In this report it states Elder was interviewed and stated; “he instructed Claspell to keep time records concerning overtime and comp time in the same manner as CSPD”. At no point did Elder say he was directed or ordered to follow CSPD’s policies. So Elder takes full responsibility for ordering his subordinate to disregard EPSO policy. Had Elder asked and received permission from his boss he would have told Sgt Hartman during the interview. It is obvious that Bill Elder was completely aware how timecards were completed in VNI because he authorized it. According to this report Bill Elder’s actions cost the taxpayers over $2,200. Theft of over $2,000 in the state of Colorado is a felony.
Back in 1998, during an interview with Sgt Hartman, Bill Elder admitted to directing Sgt Clasped how to complete the timecards and there was no confusion that Bill Elder knew what he was doing. But when interviewed by the Gazette back in June of 2014 he acts like he knows nothing about it and suggests the overpayments were “an accounting error”. Read article. He also states he was not “independently investigated”. Technically true; it’s completely misleading. He was investigated with Sgt Claspell. Also, Bill Elder’s name is in Claspell’s IA report almost as much as Claspell’s. In fact, in some of the memos concerning the incident the blame is completely put on Bill Elder. Read memo, Captain Joe Kissell clearly states in his memo that Bill Elder is to blame. He states; “If anyone should be held responsible for this situation, it would be Lieutenant Elder”. In a memo from Lt. Washburn dated July 27, 1998 (Read memo) she writes; “ I still believe that Sergeant Claspell acted in good faith when taking direction from his immediate supervisor.” “… he trusted his supervisor for proper direction and guidance.” Lt Washburn clearly puts the blame on Bill Elder. In another memo from Captain Joe Kissell dated August 28, 1998 (Read memo) he again clearly placed responsibility on Bill Elder. They both suggest Sgt Claspell’s mistake was trusting Bill Elder.
Did Bill Elder lie to the Gazette back in June of 2014 when he attributed the situation to “an accounting error”? In the IA reports he admitted giving direction to use CSPD’s policy for overtime and comp time; however, when asked about it by the Gazette he played dumb like he didn’t know what happened or that it never really happen; it was an accounting error or mistake. This is the excuse given by most embezzlers when caught. The money wasn’t stolen, it’s just an accounting error or it’s just a big misunderstanding. Bill Elder got caught redhanded and resigned because he was afraid he was going to get demoted or fired. Does this show character? When asked about it he had an opportunity to admit his mistake and take ownership of it; but he decided to lie and coverup.
In an interview with the Colorado Springs Independent back in January of 2014, Bill Elder said “Flat out that is a lie … I am telling you on a stack of Bibles I have never, never been the subject of an internal affairs investigation.” Read story. But if you continue to read the article Elder explains, in great detail, about the VNI timecard situation. So, in his interview with the C.S. Independent (January of 2014) he admits to knowing all about the allegations concerning the timecards; but 6 months later when talking with the Gazette (June of 2014) he acts like he doesn’t know anything about it and says it’s “an accounting error”. Elder cannot keep his lies straight. These two interviews clearly prove Bill Elder is a LIAR!
Elder received a letter of reprimand during his career, but continues to say he never had an IA file. Not possible because everyone knows letters of reprimands go in your IA file.
Commander Larry Kastner, in his memo dated September 4, 1998, acknowledges the wrong doing by Bill Elder, but does blame Sgt Claspell for following Elder’s directions he knew were in conflict with policy. Read memo. A source close to Kastner told us Kastner knew Bill Elder had an IA file because he submitted documents to be placed in Elder’s IA file.
There is another memo from acting undersheriff Don Kessler which lays out the findings of the IA investigation and the recommendation for a letter of reprimand. Read memo.
The only mistake Sgt Claspell appears to have made was trusting Bill Elder. A mistake many others have made.
So, there clearly was an IA investigation against Bill Elder and had he remained at the Sheriff’s Office it would have been completed, the charges sustained, and at a minimum he would have received a letter of reprimand. But he choose to run and hide from the truth.
Multiple employees we trust who worked in IA confirmed the file existed; that’s good enough for us. There is so much evidence of corruption, lies, nepotism, and intimidation; who needs an old IA file? Look at all the corruption now.
At this point everyone knows Bill Elder is a liar. Instead of lying on time cards he is now stealing and wasting millions of taxpayers dollars. Read story. He has given jobs to unqualified friends (Read Story) and intimidates anyone who gets in his way.
What Bill Elder did in VNI years ago shows his corruption and complete lack of character. Now that he is sheriff he is still corrupt; the dollar values have just gone up.
He was a thief back then and he is a thief now.