SHERIDAN, Colo. - A Sheridan police officer resigned from the department Friday afternoon after being charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft.
When asked about the allegations against him, David Michael Groff told 7NEWS, “I can’t comment.”
Groff had been under investigation for two and a half weeks.
Court documents allege that Groff stole a Harley Davidson and attached a license plate that didn’t belong on the vehicle.
In addition to Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft, Groff has been charged with Attempt to Influence a Public Servant. Both are felonies.
Sheridan Police Chief Mark Campbell said the department was advised of the allegations via a Crime Stoppers tip to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office that alleged possible criminal activity by a department employee.
Campbell told 7NEWS that the alleged violations occurred off duty and outside the City of Sheridan.
“My first reaction was shock and disbelief,” Campbell said.
The chief said Groff was initially placed on leave with pay when the allegations first surfaced. He said once charges were filed, Groff was placed on leave without pay.
Minutes before Groff resigned, Campbell told 7NEWS that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
When asked if a conviction could cost Groff his job, Campbell said, “The Sheridan Police Department and the City of Sheridan take any criminal convictions or plea bargains very seriously. We don’t condone any type of criminal behavior. So if an employee were convicted of a crime, or pled down to a crime, there would be very serious consequences.”
Groff is president of the Defiant Crew Motorcycle Club in Denver.
The club’s Facebook page contains a picture of a Harley Davidson in front of Groff’s house. It also contains a picture of two motorcycle officers with radar guns and a note that says, “workin’ for a livin’.”
A spokesman for the national office of Defiant Crew said, "The Defiant Crew Motorcycle Club does not condone any illegal activity or behavior from our members. The alleged event that involves Mr. Groff happened prior to him having any involvement with the Defiant Crew Motorcycle Club."
Joe Peluso, National Quartermaster of the DCMC went on to say that "The Defiant Crew Motorcycle Club is a law abiding club and strongly believes that in the spirit of this great nation and our judicial system that a person has the right to defend himself and his innocence until proven guilty."
Groff’s attorney, Dan Foster, said “It’s too early to comment about the allegations.”
Foster told 7NEWS that he and his client, “look forward to reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and resolving the matter.”
The former officer was not arrested and not booked, but was instead issued a criminal summons ordering him to appear in Adams County Court on February 13.
An affidavit outlining the circumstances of the alleged theft was not available in Groff’s case file.