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Denver deputy sheriff accused of forging documents to take paid, fake military leave

Deputy was arrested, bonded out on Tuesday
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Posted at 12:36 PM, Mar 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-27 15:25:09-04

DENVER — A deputy sheriff with the Denver Sheriff Department is accused of forging documents to take military leave. He was arrested Tuesday.

Matthew Jerimiah Pemberton, 25, is accused of giving forged military orders to the DSD's scheduling department, claiming he was attending U.S. Army trainings and needed time off with pay, when no legitimate orders were issued, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office. He is also accused of forging military orders to reflect that he needed military leave in lieu of reporting for his shift between December 2017 and December 2018.

"By fraudulently taking 'military leave,' Pemberton is alleged to have cost the city and county of Denver approximately $20,365 in his pay and the overtime pay for other deputies," according to the DA's Office.

A staff member noticed irregularities in the fake military orders, which included dates typed in Wingdings font. A complaint from Feb. 15 triggered an internal investigation.

In total, Pemberton is accused of taking 452.59 hours of military leave on dates when he was not scheduled to do so or did not report for military training. Of those hours, about 216 were paid military leave and 236 hours were unpaid. DSD grants deputies 123.75 hours a year as paid military leave.

To date, he still owes the city $1,250.74. Denver is withholding his paychecks in order to repay the city.

Daria Serna at the Denver Sheriff Department confirmed that Pemberton is an employee at the department. He was hired in July 2017 and had been working at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center on the 400 block of W. Colfax Avenue.

The department released a statement Wednesday afternoon: “Yesterday, we learned of charges being filed by the District Attorney against one of our employees. That individual has been placed on investigatory leave pending the outcome of the case. While we will not provide information regarding active and ongoing investigations, we are fully cooperating with the District Attorney’s Office.”

Pemberton was charged with theft between $5,000 and $20,000, electronic theft between $2,000 and $5,000, cybercrime theft between $2,000 and $5,000, five counts of forgery of a government-issued document, criminal impersonation and four counts of attempting to influence a public servant.

He posted bond Tuesday evening. His next advisement has been set for April 11.