Written by Brian Maass
ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has been doling out lucrative, taxpayer-funded summer jobs only to sons and daughters of department members, according to a CBS4 Investigation.

“Most people would call it nepotism,” said Luis Toro, executive director of Colorado Ethics Watch.

Colorado Ethics Watch describes itself as a nonpartisan watchdog group that holds public officials accountable.

Toro reviewed CBS4 findings that showed over the last three summers, for its summer youth employment program, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office has only hired young people related to Captains, Detectives, Sergeants, administrators and supervisors at the sheriffs department.

“These are really good jobs with a future and they should be made available to the public at large and not held in reserve for people who have connections,” said Toro.

The jobs are full time over the course of the summer, according to the sheriff’s department, with young people working 40 hours a week. Their duties include sorting mail, filing, cleaning up, working at the departments shooting range and doing general office work. Sources familiar with the program said the jobs typically pay between $10 and $15 an hour.

Records for 2009, 2010 and 2011 obtained by CBS4 show each summer the sheriff’s department hired four or five young people for the coveted jobs. Every one of the young men and women hired was the son or daughter of an Adams County Sheriff’s Office worker.

CBS4 found the son and daughter of an Adams County Captain were hired in 2010. For all three years, the son of a records manager got one of the jobs. Three daughters of a Sergeant and his wife, a department administrative assistant, were all hired in the last three years.

“The list you gave me, the majority of names I recognize as family members,” said Adams County Undersheriff Roger Englesman. “Do I have a problem with it? No I don’t.”

When asked how only department offspring were getting the summer jobs, Englesman replied,”I don’t know. I don’t know if its coincidence or not.”

CBS4 asked the department to explain how only family members are getting the desirable jobs, how the jobs program was marketed and advertized to the public and what the hiring criteria was. A department spokesman said they would need more time to provide those answers.

Asked if the program was nepotism, Englesman said, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

The Undersheriff was asked if Adams County residents might have liked to see their kids get the jobs. “It’s a possibility, certainly,” he said.

Ethics analyst Toro said the department appeared to be using public funds for private gain.

“Civil service is supposed to be the best people working for the public. It’s not supposed to be a spoils system for family members of public officials,” said Toro.

Comments (17)
  1. denvervet says:

    Well who better to fill the job than someone who has been around it their whole life. Also, they know these people and are at less risk hiring them. Maybe its not politically correct but I can definately see why.

    1. Anonymous says:

      thats just dumb. That is like obama hiring his daughter for the a job in the white house.. who better to do it then his daughter.. get real.

  2. Acurite20 says:

    After Adams County’s paving scandal and now this, I think the county needs a thorough investigation from top to bottom and heads need to roll.

  3. JT says:

    Wow, nepotism and corruption in the law enforcement community? How shocking! What’s tomorrows headline going to be, “Sun really, really hot”?

  4. Pete says:

    I have a problem with the Undersheriff not having a problem with the situation. It just has the appearance of questionable ethics.

  5. Nelson says:

    Hiring someone for a job that is security and privacy sensitive shouldn’t go to random young kids. In this economy how is hiring a non-family member different than hiring a family member? In the end, someone isn’t going to be hired. Aren’t most of these jobs seasonal and only lasting up to three months? Perhaps the public wasn’t made aware of Adams County Sheriff Department jobs because a vast majority aren’t specifically looking at that county department. If out youth see a future in sorting mail or stabling targets at the firing range, then America is in big trouble. Maybe next week the media will really have a story that will grasp interest.

  6. Tyler says:

    Some of these jobs didn’t end at just being summer jobs. Some are still “working” in the positions.

  7. Gstan says:

    “Jobs with a future”? Are you kidding me or what? So now a summer job washing cars is a “career”??
    Typical local “news” story. They can’t report how clueless the Occupy Denver thugs are, or get the story straight that the Republicans didn’t “vote down” the Obama jobs bill but merely didn’t vote to close debate on it (a vastly different outcome) but they’ll investigate the hell out of the Sheriff paying his kids to staple targets to a piece of cardboard.
    And as if that’s not enough, they enlist the ethically-challenged, left-wing Colorado Ethics Watch…

    1. Anonymous says:

      uh ya i would make a career washing cars if i was geting $15.00 a hour.. And the thugs of the Teabaggers right.. Its funny cause it seems all u do is blame the left side of things for the problems in the world i think u need to look at your self b4 u point fingers and get mad at a news story.. What r u doing about besides crying?

  8. Gstan says:

    To which, Mr. Tyler, I can only say: So?
    A sheriff in Colorado can hire anyone he wants for any non-law enforcement job, and anyone legally able to work as a peace officer, too. The positions are all at-will. There is no civil service. As an elected official, he does not work for anyone but the voters… and I doubt there are enough that give a damn one way or another about who washes the sheriff’s cars for this to be anything but a waste of time.

    1. Tyler says:

      Defensive much? You must be one of the people involved in this situation.

  9. Nelson says:

    If there are some still “working” in those positions then they must have proved themselves and are a great asset to the department. Politicians hire close friends and allies so why can’t a Sheriff Department hire the children of staff to fulfill needs. How many non-family members applied to the department is worth finding out.

    1. Tyler says:

      You must have missed the part that these jobs were not posted to the public. They were positions that were created as “favors” to friends. Great asset? How qualified do you have to be to file, make coffee, staple papers, clean warehouses, etc,? Can’t these tasks be performed by people who are in positions that weren’t created for them?

  10. Nelson says:

    My apologies, I must’ve been too caught up trying to figure out how these positions could potentially lead to a future. In the job market, it isn’t only what you know but also who you know. If these positions weren’t posted to the public, could the public possibly have found out through word of mouth or simply by going to the department and asking? Nearly anyone can effectively complete the tasks that these positions require, but in a time of economic depression, why is it such an offense that youth are being employed regardless if one of their parents works in the department.

  11. Mitch says:

    Maybe in the future Adams County will post all job positions on their website or county website, even though that would create a storm of resumes and applications which would take an excessive amount of time to go though. But after all, tax dollars are paying the salaries of public officials so if the public is willing to pay someone a salary which it they can live off of to go through ever resume and application, I say do it Adams County. That’d be another ‘favorable’ position you could fill and I would love to fill it, even though I don’t have family in the department. So if anyone is looking for a husband, please let me know cause I am looking for a job.

  12. David Sumners says:

    This is corrupt plain and simple.

  13. John Frisco says:

    CBS 4 should consider canning Brian Maass immediately and replacing him with some family member from within THEIR organization possessing the gumption and journalistic prowess to actually go out and find something worth reporting about. Really??

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