Lt. Dave Henrichsen
was charged with several offenses in connection with sales of bogus NFL gear at a Denver flea market, we looked into his history with the department.
We found that although the Colorado Springs Police Department
knew of the pending investigation by state and federal authorities, it allowed Henrichsen to remain on paid leave for five months. That gave him enough time to get the requisite years of service to retire with an annual pension in excess of $60,000. ("Taking leave," Sept. 21, 2016)
In a Sept. 14 request pursuant to the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, we asked for the Internal Affairs report, if one was conducted.
Almost a month later, on Monday, Oct. 10, we received a response saying, yes, an IA investigation was started but it was shelved mid-stream "with former Lt. Henrichsen’s resignation from CSPD."
Resignation? His departure actually was via retirement, as shown on this document:
And corroborated in this document:
Regardless, the CSPD went on to say in its response to our request that release of the IA report is "contrary to the public interest," and that redactions of the record "would so limit the releasable information to cause such information to be of very limited value to the public."
Here are the considerations that outweighed the public's right to know, according to the city:
1. The preliminary nature of the investigation and the fact the investigation was not completed due to the resignation of former Lt. Henrichsen;
2. the privacy interests [of] former Lt. Henrichsen regarding potential employee discipline imposed as a result of the IA investigation;
3. CSPD’s ability to conduct future IA investigations in which release of IA files would subject parties to the investigation and potential witnesses to harassment, intimidation and fear of public ridicule if their names and the content of their statements were revealed to the public;
4. the effect that public disclosure of IA investigative case files could compromise CSPD’s organizational mission to conduct thorough IA investigations and, if necessary, appropriately discipline its officers;
5. CSPD’s interest in keeping historical confidential files, which include IA investigative files, confidential.
We also sought in the same request "all correspondence in any form between individuals and agencies, and the CSPD regarding the criminal investigation of Lt. Henrichsen regarding his involvement in sales/shipments of counterfeit NFL gear."
The CSPD responded by saying the department "has no responsive records."
Henrichsen was due in court on Wednesday at which time a preliminary hearing was to be set. We've asked what happened at the hearing and if and when we hear something, we'll update.