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Florence Police Chief apologizes for failure to produce public record

City of Florence

FLORENCE, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Florence Police Chief is apologizing after failing to produce a public record requested by 13 Investigates in April.

For weeks, the City of Florence failed to turn over an email sent by Police Chief Shane Prickett. The email was finally produced by the city weeks later after 13 Investigates made three separate requests for an explanation.

If I remember correctly I received 3 separate but similar CORA requests that day just after noon.  [The City Clerk] told me she needed to have them the next day, and I was scheduled to be off that day.  I thought I got everything that was requested, however I missed 2 emails to Linda Stanley.  There was no reason for me to not send them, I just missed them somehow. I apologize for my oversight, and ultimately have no legitimate excuses as to why they were not included.

Florence Police Chief Shane Prickett, May 4, 2022

On April 13, 13 Investigates sent a Colorado Open Records Request for email communications between city leaders and law enforcement officials, including 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley.

On April 15, 13 Investigates received a response with emails sent to and by Chief Prickett, Interim City Manager Tom Piltingsrud, and Finance Director Lori Cobler.

However, the response did not include an email Prickett sent to District Attorney Linda Stanley on March 24 regarding his agency's evidence room.

The Florence Police Department's evidence room first came under public scrutiny in mid-March when Florence City Council executive session tapes were released due to a violation of open meeting laws. In a January executive session tape, it was revealed some council members were concerned with drug evidence and that a decade worth of police evidence needed to be "redone" following an audit.

Former Councilman Brian Allen also raised concerns saying the police chief's son had been recently hired as the police evidence technician.

Two days after the entire city council resigned over a failure to get corruption allegations investigated, the Florence Police Chief reached out to District Attorney Linda Stanley by email requesting a letter from her that she has not had any issues with Florence police evidence or procedures. 13 Investigates first received a copy of the email through a public record request to the 11th Judicial District Attorney's office.

After 13 Investigates did not receive the email through a public record request to the City of Florence, our team requested the emails showing what Prickett sent to the Florence City Clerk when responding to the request. He did not include the email to DA Stanley when compiling the emails for the Florence City Attorney for review before releasing it.

Florence Police Chief email responding with available records for 13 Investigates CORA request

Records obtained by 13 Investigates show DA Stanley did not respond to the email. Six days after Prickett asked Stanley for the letter about his evidence room, Stanley met with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and requested agents look into "potential criminal allegations" involving the City of Florence.

CBI told 13 Investigates this week its probe is active and ongoing, despite previous public comments to the contrary by the Florence Interim City Manager.

The state law enforcement investigation of the City of Florence was launched after 13 Investigates uncovered a city hall sexual harassment scandal, missing taxpayer money tied to unauthorized taxpayer-funded interest-free loans for city executives and staff, and an alleged attempt to use federal money to pay for city staffers bogus COVID-19 sick days.

Article Topic Follows: News

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Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is the Assistant News Director for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.


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