Denver’s CBS affiliate discovered that the DNCC hired a security consultant who had to resign from the Denver police force in a moonlighting scandal five years ago. Gary Lauricella and several other police officers would abandon their posts to work for $30 an hour in the afternoon as crossing guards for a private school. When the story broke, Lauricella’s work records got mysteriously falsified in an attempt to show him off-duty when working for the school.
Brian Maass reported this after current Denver police complained about the hire:
In 2003, a CBS4 investigation named Lauricella, a 29-year police veteran, as one of three top commanders in the Denver Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Bureau who were routinely leaving their posts in the middle of the afternoon to work an outside job as a $30 an hour crossing guard for a private school. The revelation triggered a criminal investigation, reforms in DPD off-duty policies and hefty fines and suspensions for the other two commanders. One was suspended for 30 days for his conduct and fined another ten days pay. Denver’s Manager of Safety ordered another lieutenant suspended for 20 days and he was fined 13 days pay.
However, Lauricella’s case was even more egregious. After he was confronted about working an outside job in the middle of his normal work day, someone immediately doctored Lauricella’s time records, changing dozens of days to try to make it appear he had been doing nothing wrong. A special prosecutor appointed to examine the case, ruled no criminal charges should be filed, but said the tampering with Lauricella’s time records was “suspicious … inappropriate” and concluded it was “highly unlikely” anyone other than Lauricella had falsified his work records.
Lauricella was suspended for seven months during the investigation but resigned in August 2003 rather than face disciplinary measures, which could have included termination.
The DNCC wouldn’t talk to CBS4 about this story, and probably for good reason. A Google search taking ten seconds would have revealed Lauricella’s status with the Denver PD, let alone a decent vetting process. One might think that the city of Denver had other current and retired police officers ready and willing to work for the DNCC as a consultant other than one whose exploits had even resulted in a scolding from the local paper’s editorial board as “a scandal and a disgrace”.
If they didn’t know about Lauricella’s background, then the DNCC is just incompetent — which seems apparent, given their fundraising woes. If they did know about Lauricella and hired him anyway, it should prompt questions about the DNCC’s values and ethics. One might think that the DNCC would take security more seriously than to put it in the hands of someone who apparently cheated Denver’s taxpayers for his own personal gain.