DENVER (CBS4)– CBS4 has learned the City of Denver fired Sheriff’s Department Division Chief Frank Gale Wednesday after a six month internal investigation.
“We think there’s no merit to the termination,” said Gale’s attorney, Don Sisson, when contacted by CBS4.
Gale had been under investigation since June 2014 when he was accused of giving preferential treatment to a colleague at the sheriff’s department who had been arrested in a domestic violence case.
Investigators accused Gale of lying about his role in the case, leading to the Wednesday termination.
Gale was one of the highest ranking members of the department and was widely known as the department’s public information officer, frequently appearing on camera to address department issues and controversies.
He oversaw the downtown Denver jail along with several other facets of the department.
Sisson told CBS4 Gale planned to appeal his firing and might also file a federal lawsuit against the city. Sisson believes the termination was strongly connected to Gale’s role as a top union official with the Fraternal Order of Police.
“He has been a strong voice of the FOP,” said Sisson, “and his termination was in retaliation for his outspoken union views which were contrary to the city agenda.”
The case against Gale, and his termination, are the latest black eye for the beleaguered Denver Sheriff’s Department which is facing accusations of excessive force, has experienced numerous cases of misconduct and has seen other top administrators resign.
Late Wednesday evening, Denver’s Manager of Safety Stephanie O’Malley reacted to the firing.
“A high standard of professionalism and integrity is expected from members of the Denver Sheriff Department,” said O’Malley. “In those instances where any member of the department is found to depart from the truth, a sacred trust is broken, particularly in an agency whose guiding principles include honesty, personal leadership, integrity and accountability. Existing department policies support termination in this instance.”