EL PASO COUNTY, Colorado — The Town Manager and Chief of Police in Monument are accused of bad behavior during a night of drinking in Colorado Springs.
A bartender claims Town Manager Mike Foreman asked her to break liquor laws by insisting on taking his tequila home. Bar patrons who witnessed the argument also claimed Police Chief Cristian "Sean" Hemingway used a racial slur against one of them after they spoke up in defense of the bartender.
News 5 received a leaked copy of a confidential human resources report presented to the Board of Trustees in July. It contains the findings of an outside private investigator hired by attorneys representing the town as part of a claim submitted to the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA.)
We verified the allegations by speaking directly with the bartender who filed the complaint. However, she declined a request to be interviewed on camera for fear of retaliation.
The incident in question happened in May at the Parry's Pizzeria and Taproom on Interquest Parkway.
The document indicates that Foreman and Hemingway had been at Parry's for a couple of hours. When the bartender told them it was closing time, Foreman asked for a cup to take his tequila to go. He was refused.
State law and city code prevent liquor licensees from allowing patrons to remove unsealed alcohol off-premises.
Foreman reportedly argued with the bartender about relaxed liquor laws because of COVID.
When she left to get her manager, other patrons reported hearing Foreman call her a derogatory slur. Foreman denied the name-calling.
The patrons, who are men, told Foreman the bartender, :was just doing her job and to not give her such a hard time."
They claimed that Chief Hemingway became aggressive at that point, used offensive language, and referenced wanting to "take it outside." The men took that to mean Hemingway wanted to fight. They also reported hearing Hemingway say, "Hiroshima" to a patron in a way interpreted as being racial.
The investigator states the patron is not Japanese but appears Asian given his heritage. Hemingway denied making comments that implied he wanted to fight the men.
"Instead he indicated he made a comment to Mike about going to the parking lot and leaving," the report reads.
Hemingway could not recall if he said "Hiroshima."
The investigator told the town's attorney he was concerned about the potential of a hate crimes charge against the Chief.
"This issue would turn on whether the Chief incited or threatened any violence surrounding any Hiroshima statement, assuming one was made," the document states.
The attorney recommended the Board of Trustees pursue documented counseling or reprimand for Foreman and Hemingway, and potential disciplinary action.
News 5 approached Foreman at Monday night's Board of Trustees meeting. He declined to comment on the advice of his attorney.
News 5 also attempted to contact Chief Hemingway directly but our calls were not returned.
The town website currently has a job posting for a new Chief of Police. The job posting indicates the current Chief plans to retire in 2023.
Human resources officials with the Town of Monument would not answer a question regarding Hemingway's employment status over the phone and asked us to submit an open records request.
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.