By Brian Maass
DENVER (CBS4) – More than a year after a CBS4 investigation showed a Denver police officer confessing to “double dipping,” the police internal affairs case is still open and unresolved due to “personnel law,” according to the Denver Police Department.
“We don’t want any investigation to take that long,” said Denver Police Deputy Chief Matt Murray, who said he could not discuss specifics about why the case of Technician Brett Titus has not been concluded.
“I understand when it gets to a year, it doesn’t appear consistent,” said Murray.
On Nov. 3, 2014, a CBS4 investigation reported that Titus was paid thousands of dollars in salary to stay home and recuperate from an on-the-job injury. But while collecting his paycheck he was simultaneously moonlighting, making thousands of dollars by putting on lucrative private seminars in Texas and at his home in Parker, Colorado.
“I made a mistake,” said Titus, when approached by CBS4 in September of 2014. “I screwed up and will take my lumps. I’m fessing up and not denying anything, absolutely.”
But 15 months after that conversation, Titus has not been disciplined by his department, nor has the case been dropped.
“I will say this case is unique,” explained Murray in a recent on-camera interview with CBS4. “It involves attorneys, personnel law — a lot of legal issues in the background of this case. What’s slowing it down is outside the police disciplinary process.”
Murray said he could not elaborate beyond that brief explanation. He acknowledged that Police Chief Robert White and Manager of Safety Stephanie O’Malley made speeding up internal affairs investigations a high priority in their regimes.
Records obtained by CBS4 showed that Titus — a K-9 officer — suffered a serious knee injury at work in 2013 while pursuing a suspect. Titus then went on what is known as limited or light duty, meaning he was unable to perform his normal job. However just 10 days after the accident and while on limited duty, CBS4 uncovered documentation showing Titus traveled to Texas to train officers with the Plano Police Department for four days. From there he proceeded on to the League City Police Department, also in Texas, where he was paid to put on a four day K-9 training seminar, all while he was too injured to work in Denver and was being paid to stay home.
“The guys that I teach had this planned for a long time and I would have felt like a heel not to go,” said Titus.
The CBS4 investigation also found that in May of 2013, while still on limited duty, still being paid full salary, Titus put on another K-9 training seminar at his home in Parker. Records show the Littleton and Greenwood Village police departments paid Titus’ company, TacDogs, thousands of dollars to train their officers at his home.
A CBS4 review of Titus’ mileage and gas records showed that when Titus was on limited duty and prohibited from driving a marked Denver police vehicle, he actually put 6,000 miles on his marked department vehicle, filling it up with city gas 30 times at an approximate cost of $2,000.
An email to Technician Titus this week was not returned.
“We have always been concerned and did a thorough investigation,” said Deputy Chief Murray.