Posted: Jun 17, 2010 5:34 PM by James Jarman
Updated: Jun 18, 2010 12:16 PM
Fountain Police Chief Dan Corsentino is now responding to allegations that News First Investigates uncovered. Corsentino wouldn't sit down for an in depth interview with News First Investigates, instead he released a written statement.
We got a tip that the Chief was at the office writing a news release to respond to our report. Since he never returned our calls, we went down to the office to save him some time and let him respond in person.
A secretary told us he was in meetings and wouldn't be able to do an interview today, but would issue a news release.
In Corsentino's written response, he does admit Jeanne Assam was given the title of "Training Coordinator" for Fountain Police, even though she was never an employee.
He also says he did hire a comedian to reduce employee stress as part of his strategic plan.
Some of his other responses raise more questions than answers. Questions we hope to ask in an on camera interview with the Chief. You can read his full response below.
Meantime, information from some office staffers is coming out slowly. Our source tells us if they come forward publicly they risk losing their jobs. It's an issue that goes beyond the Chief of Police, straight to Fountain City Hall.
"Members of the police department are not going to come forward because they've all been threatened with termination," our informant says, "They've been told that even if a department head does something illegal you're not to go forward with it." The source went on to say it was a City Hall Administrator who made that statement. "The Human Resources Director made it very clear to employees that even if it's illegal, don't go forward with it."
Human resources Director Bob Smith says that's not true. "(I) have never made a comment like that, just I don't. No other way to answer it than that's not a correct statement," he said.
Mike Violette, executive director with the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police tells News First Investigates, the union's received many complaints from officers and staffers in the Fountain Police Department over the past fw months. He describes it as "more complaints than we would normally see in a department" and "primarily against Chief Corsentino."
He says the complaints "obviously rise to the level of public concern."
He also says future lawsuits against the City of Fountain could be file, and because of that he can't comment in much more detail.