Interim sheriff Elias Diggins's criminal record adds to 5 incidents spelling Gary Wilson's doom

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Interim Denver sheriff Elias Diggins. More photos plus videos and a document below.
As we've documented in a series of blog posts over the past year or so, the Denver Sheriff's Department has been beset by scandals -- so many that yesterday, Mayor Michael Hancock accepted Sheriff Gary Wilson's resignation and appointed Division Chief Elias Diggins to fill the job on an interim basis.

But this attempt to smooth the waters wasn't wholly successful: Last night, news broke that Diggins has a criminal record. Continue for details about that revelation, following a recap of five incidents that helped seal Wilson's fate.

See also: Video: See Thomas Ford, suspended deputy, knock out non-violent inmate

Number 1: The Brad Lovingier video

In a video obtained by the Colorado Independent, Deputy Brad Lovingier can be seen slamming handcuffed inmate Anthony Waller into a wall during a court hearing, seemingly with little or no provocation. Here's the clip:

It took a year for Lovingier to be disciplined.

Number 2: Deputy Matthew Andrews's escape assist

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Former Denver deputy Matthew Andrews.
In April 2013, Felix Trujillo became the first person to escape from Denver's new jail -- and he did so with a little help from Deputy Matthew Andrews, who let the inmate wear his hat and coat as he left the building.

Andrews swore he'd only aided in the escape because of threats to his family. But a few weeks later, Trujillo publicly claimed Andrews actually assisted him because he believed the con was rich and would give him a big reward.

This past January, Andrews was sentenced to six months in prison.

Number 3: Michael Than's taxing behavior

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Michael Than.
In April, Than, once the second highest ranking member of the Denver Sheriff's Department, was indicted in Jefferson County. Among the allegations against him: He's said to have stolen 1,288 copies of Turbo Tax software from assorted Target stores in the Denver area and resold them on eBay for more than $60,000.

Number 4: The Jamal Hunter lawsuit

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A surveillance image of actions at the heart of Jamal Hunter's lawsuit. The man on the right is Deputy Thomas Ford.
In 2012, former inmate Jamal Hunter filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Denver and individual law enforcers for failing to properly protect him, after he says inmates scalded his genitals with boiling water and two deputies attacked him. Last month, a judge released additional documents in the case that included references to porn, pot, on-duty drunkenness and brutality among deputies at the jail.

Thomas Ford wasn't mentioned by name in Hunter's lawsuit even though he was one of two deputies caught on video roughing him up. But his moniker would soon get headline treatment.

Number 5: The Thomas Ford punch-out

In another Colorado Independent scoop, a video surfaced showing Ford laying out a non-violent inmate with one punch. Here's that clip:

The Manager of Safety's Office responded to this matter with a news release announcing that Ford was under investigation and portraying Wilson as taking strong action to address "the community's concerns as it relates to deputy misconduct." But these efforts weren't enough to save Wilson's job -- not that he's currently unemployed. Although he stepped down as Sheriff, he'll continue to serve as a division chief.

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Outgoing Denver sheriff Gary Wilson.
Diggins, meanwhile, will take the helm at least temporarily -- but the odds of him getting the job permanently took a major blow last night. As 7News reports, Diggins was once charged with an attempt to influence a public official, a felony. Diggins told the station the accusation came about following a 1996 car crash, when he lied to a judge about having insurance. In the end, he pleaded guilty to making a false report, a misdemeanor.

This offense doesn't compare to the five happenings that led to Sheriff Wilson's resignation. But neither does it turn the subject away from problems at the Denver Sheriff's Department. Instead, it simply adds another one, undoubtedly fueling critics who believe the agency is either incompetent or out of control.

Look below to read the 7News-obtained report about Diggins's record.

Elias Diggins Arrest Report

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.



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31 comments
Peter
Peter

May we add that diggins has strong gang ties to the crips? Ask about his brothers sometime........

Latifah Abdul'laah
Latifah Abdul'laah

I dated this guy right before he went in for his sheriff training. Wow.

John Anthony Gadd
John Anthony Gadd

What happened to men of character leading? Oh im sorry, we're talking about the police department

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Your headline, "Interim sheriff Elias Diggins's criminal record adds to 5 incidents spelling Gary Wilson's doom" makes no sense; Diggins wasn't appointed interim Sheriff until Wilson's doom was pronounced.  Judge Doris E. Burd filed an excessive force complaint against Lovingier after witnessing him attack Anthony Waller as he was speaking to the judge, but such unbelievably outrageous conduct warranted Lovingier's immediate arrest for contempt of court and assault.  Consider just how far gone jail personnel must be when one of them commits a violent, unprovoked assault in the middle of court proceedings, in front of a judge!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

None of these incidents explain why Wilson was vowing a crackdown last week and is this week reshuffled -- the processes through which Hancock & Co. decided to jettison him were completely opaque and unremarked in the media.  Every time I've ever seen Wilson except in your last photo, he's looked unperturbed and pleased to be where he was at; there must have been a pay cut involved in stripping him of the title of "Sheriff".  Voters approved a change to Denver's Charter last year which devolved the title from the then Manager of Public Safety (now Executive Director of Public Safety) onto the head of the "Sheriff [sic] Department", the better for the City's administration to evade responsibility for what goes on there.  Since the Sheriff acts "under strict authority and direction of the executive director", we should be asking why Executive Director of Public Safety Stephanie O'Malley has not been asked to resign.  As for appointing a perjurer as Sheriff, this is entirely in keeping with the City's established practice; Deputy Chief of the DPD David Quinones was appointed immediately after committing perjury on the City's behalf in Federal Court in December of 2012.

Clara Madrid
Clara Madrid

THUGS. When and until the Denver police and sheriff departments require a college degree, they will continue to hire uneducated thugs and continue to have personnel problems.

Joseph Eskew
Joseph Eskew

Let's not make any excuses for these corrupt sons of bitches. Denver has one of worse records of police brutality in the nation.

John Pinnick
John Pinnick

Out of control. He says he lied about having insurance but yet the charge was bribing an official. Doesn't sound right to me?!?

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

this is NOT DPD, this is for Denver Sheriffs Department, they guard the jail, transport inmates to and from the courthouse and provide security there. They do not patrol.

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

This is NOT DPD this is Denver Sheriffs Department

Adam Aedro Drotar
Adam Aedro Drotar

In a city like Denver I think it's wise to have an official who has a little dirt under their nails but lying in court is pretty stupid.

MattandKayla Yeaman
MattandKayla Yeaman

Gail have you been perfect your whole entire life? Just curious. People make mistakes. It's been 20 years!!

Gail Lucinda Madrid
Gail Lucinda Madrid

If he lies about not havin insurance who knows what else hes done!! Come on ppl its not hating its a fact!

MattandKayla Yeaman
MattandKayla Yeaman

Supposedly his criminal past was from 1996. He lied to a judge about having car insurance and that was it. I'm not 100% sure that makes him a bad man. Let's see if he can get the DPD in order before we hate. Everyone makes mistakes, it's about who they are now and not who they were almost 20 years ago.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... did he pack a pistol?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

"Sheriff [sic] Department", not the DPD.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... if you think uneducated thugs are dangerous, just wait until educated thugs take power.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... so if you shoot one, it's not assault on a Police Officer?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

It is officially known as the "Sheriff [sic] Department"; in more literate places, the office is known as the "Sheriff's Department".

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... and the converse


Power + Corruption = Money!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... so Convicted Criminals should be allowed to Possess Firearms after, say 20 years?



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

The interim Sheriff cannot "get the DPD in order"; he has no responsibility for police whatsoever!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

"He lied to a judge about having car insurance and that was it"


That's now a FELONY in Colorado -- "Attempting to Influence a Public Servant"



GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

@RobertChase   So in your opinion Denver is not very literate?


"It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Denver Sheriff Department website. The Denver Sheriff Department is the largest Sheriff Department agency in the state of Colorado. We are a proud agency that is committed to being a model agency and employing the best practices for the community that we serve while being fiscally responsible."


http://www.denvergov.org/sheriff/SheriffDepartment/tabid/444860/Default.aspx

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... who -- exactly -- would be sent to arrest Corrupt Criminal DPD officers? ... the Sheriff's Dept or Colorado State Patrol?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@GuestWho  That's right, and the name of the Department is an excellent example, because it is an ungrammatical nonsense that serves the cause of fudging responsibility.  Denver City and County have been a single jurisdiction since 1902, but there has always been at least an ex officio Sheriff, responsible for what is properly described as the Sheriff's Department (his or hers).  He or she has deputies; they are "Sheriff's deputies"; those are the sworn officers employed by the DSD.  I have been to the "Sheriff Department" website (I have no idea why you quote from it and include a link to it); the name of the Department itself is an error which every single formal reference repeats.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase


"Sheriff [sic] Department" makes about as much sense as "Driver License Department" ... or "Governor Cabinet"

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  For those who know the language, it grates every single time!  There are any number of garbled official signs in Colorado (though fewer, I think, than in other states, as the impetus to communicate by literate means is very much less in the first place), but the name of the Department is a glaring error repeated on the Internet, in law and all official documents, and on the patches on each deputy's uniform; a declaration of mass stupidity that should serve as a warning of far worse abuses than that of grammar of which many in the DSD are capable.

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