Overzealous Supporters Cross the Line at Sheriff’s Office

According to deputies, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Captains brought them into their office and asked them whether or not they could use the deputies name as part of an advertisement they planned to run in the newspaper in support of Sheriff Kirk Taylor.

Two of these deputies came to KKTV with their complaints and agreed to talk to us as long as they could remain anonymous. The reason for their request was that they didn’t want to lose their job for speaking out and publicizing their grievances.

One of the deputies, a male member of the Fraternal Order of Police, says he was “very intimidated and frightened” by the situation. Several members of the FOP have attacked Sheriff Taylor decisions he’s made in regards to recognizing the organization. The other deputy is not a member of the FOP.

Both deputies told us similar stories of being asked by their superior to lend their name to the advertisement. Both of them say they were uncomfortable answering the questions, and both of them claim to have been on duty at the time of the questioning.

"I did not feel that it was appropriate, I didn't feel my political views impact my job as a public servant," says the non-FOP deputy. Sheriff Taylor agrees with her.

We asked the Sheriff if there are any policies that deal with this sort of thing. He said there were, and that the captains did indeed violate them. He has told us they have been disciplined but because it is a personnel issue, he cannot comment on the extent of that discipline.

Sheriff Taylor also told us, he had no idea this was happening, and that his captains were not acting on his orders. This was corroborated by Deputy Laurie Kilpatrick who says, it was her idea. "This was something that I decided that I wanted to do, and I recruited friends and fellow co-workers to do it with me," explains Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick says, she was incited by a claim made by Sheriff Taylor’s opponent, Randy Wills, during a recent debate. It involves endorsements, specifically the endorsement of the FOP for Wills. According to Kilpatrick, a former FOP member and instigator for bringing the FOP to the Sheriff’s Office, and four others all current or former members of the FOP, the endorsement is a misrepresentation.

Kilpatrick says, the vote whether to endorse Wills was conducted by approximately 13 FOP members, and she says, Wills claimed more than 180 members unanimously voted to endorsement him. She says, that’s a bold faced lie. "It's not fair. It's not fair and it's not right, and that's our job. Our job as law enforcement is to be fair and to be right, and to not use fear and intimidation to get people to do something. Most of the criminals we deal with lie. We shouldn't be in that business," says Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick says, as a line-level employee she contacted members of the sheriff’s office while they were on break or off duty, on her free time. She also says she asked the captains to give her any names they knew supported Taylor so she could contact them. She says, unfortunately some of them may have taken that statement too far.

Kilpatrick says, things could have been handled differently, and the captains should not have asked employees about this in their office, especially on duty. She also understands how some deputies could feel intimidated by being put on the spot like that. “A lot of people, during this time especially, want to keep their jobs… that’s number one on their list. They are concerned with whoever takes office… and that can be scary.”

Kilpatrick says some of her co-workers didn’t want to publicly support Taylor out of fear of what his opponent would do if he wins. The same can be said for our anonymous employees. The non-FOP deputy doesn’t want to be put into a position where her support, or lack thereof, can be used against her down the line.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Taylor assures us that the situation has been dealt with, and has already been stopped. He also released this statement:

“Although I appreciate their passion I assure you that no pressure either direct or indirect came from the command. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply ridiculous,” says Sheriff Taylor.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by native Location: pueblo on Nov 5, 2010 at 08:18 PM
    Has the RETALIATION begun? Have Taylor and his thugs started looking hard and deep for anything they can get to use against staff and deputies who supported Wills? Last I heard the HATCH ACT is FEDERAL. If I were any of the victims of the SORE WINNERS I would sue them personally along with the Department and County for allowing this to go on!
  • by diana m Location: pueblo on Nov 4, 2010 at 02:11 PM
    Wow!! Even after the election is over I am still taken back by what poor sports Taylor supporters are. All I can say is that the better man did not win this election. God has a plan for everything and I will pray for all of you that feel that you need to act in such an inappropriate manner. All of the negativity that you continue to spread just reflects poorly on yourselves and your "sheriff". Randy Wills is a great man and any of you would be privileged and lucky to have him in your life or as leader of your community.
  • by sunshine Location: pueblo county on Nov 4, 2010 at 01:00 PM
    Sis, have you met HAHA? The two of you would make a perfect couple. Maybe you could meet in a dark alley sometime. You missed the point of 'sunshine'. It is not alluding to a Polly-Anna attitude, it refers to the truth coming out. This is the only forum I have seen in the last 4 years that is bringing to light what is going on at the Sheriff's Office. The topic that keeps coming up is Taylor's command staff and clique acting as thugs toward the rest of the employees. Taylor needs to reign in these people and start running the SO with CHARACTER just as he promised during both campaigns. This violent negativity on both sides is going to get us nowhere. Bringing the truth out into the open is the only hope there is. As I stated in another post the Pueblo County Sheriff's office is now under the MICROSCOPE with more than Pueblo watching. Sunshine flushes out all vermine - no matter what side they are on. By the way, I voted Wills, and Taylor's drinking was just one reason why.
  • by Sis Location: Pueblo on Nov 4, 2010 at 11:03 AM
    Sunshine: As regards the sheriff being a perfect upright kind of guy - you better take another look. Any - I mean ANY public servant who drinks and drives is really bad but for it to be the sheriff is the absolute worst. You know what they say--- if it looks like a duck - it's probably a duck! For there to be this much dissention and anger in his department, there has to be more to it than the citizens are aware of. I am only aware of the driving and drinking -- he was actually SEEN doing that!!!!!!!!! Better keep your "sunshine" coments to youself and tell your "sunshine" guy to attend AA.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:49 PM
    Haha don't tell me to shut up! Looks like your the ignorant one acting a fool! Why don't you get a life!!!Grow up or do something constructive with your life besides making rude comments. Are you feeling guilty? obviously someone made a comment that relates to you!!! P.S I am thankful I have a job and I do work very hard. So why don't you shut up!!!!!
  • by citizen 1 Location: Colorado on Nov 3, 2010 at 06:29 PM
    HEHE your comments tend to lean towards someone who is not very stable, hoping that your anger goes away soon. Paying citizen, you are close to not sounding very stable either. A little angry and such bold and rude comments. I hope you don't work at the Sherriff's office, if you do you should consider another postion. Enough of the bad words and attacks, I never once saw Taylor attack Mr. Wills and or his family, get over it and get on with YOUR life, go to college and law school and maybe run for sheriff in four years since you both know so much.
  • by sunshine Location: pueblo county on Nov 3, 2010 at 01:54 PM
    Please, HAHA and others who are posting such juvenile comments, you are making our sheriff look bad. You should be doing everything to help heal the latest bad press, not add to it. Do you think that only Pueblo is reading these comments? Behavior such as this is what created such bad press for Kirk to begin with. Please think your comments through all the way before posting. He has the ability to be a good leader if you all would let him do his job and quit trying to do it for him in such a negative manner. Best of luck throughout the next four years, Kirk. We are pulling for you and ALL of your DEPUTIES!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 3, 2010 at 01:36 PM
    I know you are but what am I... You sound so ridiculous! I would leave but I was never dumb enough to go work for Taylor in the first place. I know him on a very intimate level so I knew better! Sounds like you had your lunch money taken away on the play ground one to many times too!!! I am sure you display that same behavior in all aspects of your life so you fit right in the Bully Pod.. At the very best you have made me LAUGH little guy....
  • by Sis Location: Pueblo on Nov 3, 2010 at 11:58 AM
  • by HAHA Location: Pueblo on Nov 3, 2010 at 10:50 AM
    Oh simmer down now...such anger! IF IT'S SO BAD THEN LEAVE!!! You're right, corruption is not a laughing matter. It's a good thing the PCSO isn't corrupt now, isn't it. I'll be patiently waiting for anyone to find and prove corruption these next four, glorious years. Yep, bring on the "nerdy entourage and little man syndrome"...you must be jealous you're not one of them! HA!
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