Former Adams County deputy pleads guilty to forgery and official misconduct

· Jan. 26, 2024, 4:08 pm
ELIJAH-MCCLAIN-TRIALS-230918ELIJAH-MCCLAIN-TRIALS-230918Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Adams County Justice Center in Brighton, Colorado, on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.

A former high-ranking Adams County sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty Friday to forgery and official misconduct in a scheme to avoid completing mandatory training classes.

Thomas McLallen, who was the department’s undersheriff until 2022, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts in exchange for a sentence of two years probation in the long-running case. McLallen also agreed to surrender his certification to be a law enforcement officer in Colorado and to write a letter of apology to the Adams County sheriff’s office.

The case has been under investigation for nearly two years since the Colorado Bureau of Investigation received a complaint that McLallen, then-Adams Sheriff Rick Reigenborn, and the department’s then-head of training Mickey Bethel had all taken credit for mandatory training hours they didn’t complete. Felony charges are still pending against Bethel and Reigenborn, who lost his re-election bid in 2022.

McLallen agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify in future cases. 

"We are committed to law enforcement integrity and taking seriously steps to undermine our state’s training system,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a prepared statement. “This action advances that work and makes clear the obligations of law enforcement officers to engage in training in an appropriate manner.”

Certified law enforcement officers in Colorado are required to complete 24 hours of in-service training each year on everything from arrest techniques to driving skills. Much of the work can be completed online. When initially implicated in the investigation, Reigenborn told CPR News he would never falsify training logs, because the hours are, “so easy to get.”

Weiser is prosecuting the cases in Denver District Court because state law authorizes the attorney general to enforce training standards for law enforcement officers in Colorado.

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