DENVER, CO — A fired former division head of the Denver Sheriff’s Office and a former president of the state Fraternal Order of Police was indicted by a grand jury in Denver earlier this month for allegedly pocking $50,000 from an Aurora refugee charity.
Franklin Gale, 55, of Denver was indicted by a Denver grand jury in connection with the alleged diversion for his own use of multiple checks paid to Ecumenical Refugee And Immigration Services, a non-active refugee resettlement agency that closed under a cloud in 2015 after another embezzlement scandal.
Gale is charged with money laundering, theft, attempting to influence a public servant forgery and vehicle theft. The indictment was handed down Oct. 3 and Gale turned himself in to the Longmont Police, a statement from the Denver District Attorney’s Office said.
Gale is the immediate past president of the Colorado State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police and served as the President of the State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police for eight years, a non-compensated position.
He was a former division head of the Denver Sheriff’s Office, and filed suit against the City and County of Denver in September, 2016 alleging that he had been fired for retaliation for being an "outspoken union representative who often was critical of his bosses," the Denver Post reported.
Gale was serving as a non-compensated board member of ERIS in 2015 when the charity was closed down following a 2014 criminal investigation by the Aurora Police Department that resulted in embezzlement and theft charges against two staffers, Genevieve Marie Cruz and Adam Cole Shryock.
According to the indictment, Gale was a friend of Cruz, who was brought onto the board initially as a consultant. He ended up the president of the board as the organization closed down.
ERIS had received public funds to assist with refugee resettlement through the CARES branch of the Colorado Department of Law Human Services. Those funds were revoked after Cruz and her colleague were charged.
In May of 2015, Gale was elected president of the board of directors and the organization closed its doors
When Cruz and Shyrock pleaded guilty in 2016, they were ordered by the court to pay $50,000 in restitution to the agency, the indictment said.
According to the grand jury indictment, about a dozen checks were sent to the defunct agency in care of Frank Gale at his Denver home address.
The indictment alleges that between November 2015 and April 2017, Gale wrote $48,668 in checks to himself from the ERIS account and deposited them into an account he established for his minor son. Gale would then make bank account cash withdrawals, ATM withdrawals, and/or transfer the funds from his son’s account to other accounts under his control, thus laundering the money, the indictment alleges. The actions ultimately added up to the theft of $50,000, the DA’s office said in a statement.
Gale is also accused of forging the name and signature of the former board director on a motor vehicle title for a truck owned by ERIS and then getting a new motor vehicle title in his own name.
Gail’s attorney Reid Elkus, of Denver-based Elkus & Sisson, said the proceedings were still early and that the firm was "looking forward to zealously defending our client Frank Gale." Elkus & Sisson is the law firm used to defend officers through the Fraternal Order of Police, according to the firm’s voice mail.
Image via Longmont Police Department
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