The City of Buckeye has hired an outside investigator to probe serious allegations of misconduct levied against the police chief, and other top officers.
The investigation was ordered after the city council and city manager received an anonymous letter claiming to be authored by a group of Buckeye police officers.
ABC15 obtained a redacted copy of the five-page letter, which includes a long list of allegations including falsified police statistics, sex on the job, and cover-ups.
The letter also states that the FBI has been notified about some of the allegations.
“Buckeye is committed to public transparency, and believes that the public has a right to know that allegations of misconduct have been made against members of the Police Department and that these allegations are being diligently investigated,” said Annie DeChance, a city spokesperson. “The city takes these allegations seriously and is working hard to ensure a fair and unbiased outcome by utilizing an independent investigator to review the allegations.”
The letter outlines alleged misconduct by at least five specific police officials. The city redacted the names of those officials in the letter provided to ABC15 to protect the integrity of the investigation, DeChance said.
However, ABC15 has learned Chief Larry Hall is among the names listed; and other officers cited in the letter include internal affairs Sgt. Gary McGeogh and Officer David Grossman.
One of the letter’s key complaints focuses on falsified police statistics.
“(Redacted name) routinely goes in and changes crime stats to lower the reported Part 1 crimes,” the letter said. “Some examples, (redacted) likes to change Burglaries to thefts or lost properties, Aggravated Assaults to simple assaults and recently changed an Arson with over $30,000 in damage to a ‘fire'.”
The authors of the letter also claimed that Chief Hall is running a private security business with at least one subordinate, Sgt. McGeogh, which raises ethical and professional concerns.
State business records show that Hall and McGeogh are partners in a company called Blue Knights Securities.
In an email to ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing, Hall said he was limited in what he could say about the allegations and investigation.
“Thanks for the opportunity Dave,” Hall wrote. “All I can say right now is that I support the City Managers decision to investigate the complaint, and look forward to a timely resolution to these allegations.”
Buckeye has hired a retired Arizona Department of Public Safety captain named Burley Copeland to investigate. The city did not provide a timeline for the investigation.
The anonymous letter was dated September 18, 2017, which is the same day that ABC15 broke a story about a controversial police incident involving a teen with autism.
Officer Grossman mistook the 14-year-old boy, who was playing in a quiet neighborhood park, for a drug user.
Body camera footage of the incident has made international headlines.
ABC15 has determined that portions of the letter also allege that Grossman is a protected employee, whose actions and misconduct are routinely “minimized or covered up.”
Grossman’s personnel file reveals a mixed career with numerous awards, but also several problematic incidents involving unconstitutional stops and concerns over cowardice.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org.