Aurora police wait 18 months to turn over records of police corruption to Denver police

Aurora police wait months to reveal abuse info

AURORA, Colo. - Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says his investigators referred a case of possible police corruption to Denver police, but the CALL7 Investigators found that information was only passed on 18 months after Aurora first learned of it.

Oates issued a video last month touting that his department turned over allegations his investigators uncovered about two Denver officers to Denver police supervisors. The video was in response to repeated requests from 7NEWS for an interview with Oates about his internal affairs department. Oates would not take questions on the topic.

"Our investigation concluded that the reported duo was two officers from another police department," Oates said in the video news release. "We made a proper referral to that agency."

CALL7 Investigators obtained documents about a police team, nicknamed "Batman and Robin," who allegedly sexually abused prostitutes and robbed drug dealers on East Colfax Avenue.

What Oates failed to mention in his video was the timing of Aurora turning the information over to Denver police.

CALL7 Investigators obtained documents that showed his investigators found out about the allegations in April 2011, but didn't formally turn the information over until October 2012 -- 18 months later and five days after CALL7 Investigators requested the records under state open records laws.

In the emails from October, an Aurora detective wrote: "I had previously contacted you about vague information we had received from several street prostitutes about 'dirty cops' who were known by the street names of Batman and Robin."

But Aurora did not produce any records that documented the previous contact, and Denver police said they were first informed about Batman and Robin in October.

"What I can tell you is that Aurora notified us," said Denver Police spokesman Lt. Matt Murray, confirming Denver first learned of the allegations in October. "They obviously felt it was important to notify us. Their decision about the timing -- you'd have to ask them about  -- but clearly they thought it was important for us to know about and they told us."

Murray, noting that some of the information is six to 20 years old, said Denver's chief of internal affairs initially decided not to pursue an investigation because the information was vague. That changed in January, when Denver Police Chief Robert White and the Denver Independent Monitor's office decided it was necessary to pursue the allegations because they are so serious, Murray said.

"I think what's important for the public to know is we take it seriously and we're looking into it and we're going to do the best we can," he said. "If we're able to prove a case, you'll know."

While CALL7 could not find Oates, we caught up with Aurora Deputy Chief Terry Jones, who said he believes the information was turned over earlier but he did not know exactly when.

"This was investigated and the information was turned over to Denver shortly after we heard about the allegations of Mangino and that information came forward," Jones said.
If you have a news tip, or follow-up to this story, e-mail Keli Rabon. You can also connect with her on Facebook or through Twitter @KeliRabon.
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