COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The City of Manitou Springs denied our request for more information about why former Police Chief Brian Churchill resigned last week. However, the denial letter provided insight into what the city was investigating: a possible sexual harassment claim.
The city council, mayor and a spokesperson for Manitou Springs have all repeatedly refused to provide any additional information related to the circumstances surrounding the investigation or Churchill's resignation. Churchill was placed on paid administrative leave on January 21 while the Manitou Springs human resources department investigated a "confidential personnel matter."
13 Investigates submitted a public records request with the city of Manitou Springs after Churchill's resignation seeking a resignation letter, disciplinary, investigative, and any settlement records related to Churchill's employment with the city.
The city responded saying Churchill did not submit a resignation letter and there were no related settlement records.
Here's the response the city of Manitou Springs clerk sent 13 Investigates this week after we requested the disciplinary and investigation files for Churchill.
Section C.R.S. § 24-72-204(3)(a)(X)(A) of Colorado state code is only related to sexual harassment complaints and investigations.
It says: "Any records of sexual harassment complaints and investigations, whether or not such records are maintained as part of a personnel file; except that, an administrative agency investigating the complaint may, upon a showing of necessity to the custodian of records, gain access to information necessary to the investigation of such a complaint. This sub-subparagraph (A) shall not apply to records of sexual harassment complaints and investigations that are included in court files and records of court proceedings. Disclosure of all or a part of any records of sexual harassment complaints and investigations to the person in interest is permissible to the extent that the disclosure can be made without permitting the identification, as a result of the disclosure, of any individual involved. This sub-subparagraph (A) shall not preclude disclosure of all or part of the results of an investigation of the general employment policies and procedures of an agency, office, department, or division, to the extent that the disclosure can be made without permitting the identification, as a result of the disclosure, of any individual involved."
Churchill was paid an annual salary of $105,000 by Manitou Springs, according to city records obtained by 13 Investigates. Officials told 13 Investigates in February that no disciplinary records related to Churchill's employment with the city of Manitou Springs currently existed.
Before becoming Manitou Springs' Police Chief in October 2019, Churchill had spent more than 20 years as an officer with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department (IMPD).
While in Indiana, 13 Investigates found Churchill faced an internal investigation after a 911 caller reported seeing him being "inappropriate with a female companion." When IMPD police arrived at the scene, Churchill apparently flashed his gun and his badge at officers. Officers told TV station WTHR they believed Churchill was drunk at the time and drove him home.
IMPD would not confirm anything about the 2011 investigation into Churchill. It's unclear if he was disciplined after the incident or if the City of Manitou Springs was aware of the 2011 allegations when Churchill was hired.
The city of Manitou Springs previously appointed detective Bill Otto as the acting police chief. Before being appointed, Otto served as a detective for the Manitou Springs Police Department.
13 Investigates reached out to an attorney that represents Churchill for comment. They told us they would contact him immediately to see if he wished to comment, but we have not yet heard back.
If you have a tip or lead you would like our team to investigate, contact us at 13Investigates@krdo.com.