Former Adams County sheriff, two senior staff members charged with felonies in false records case

By: - September 28, 2023 1:26 pm

Adams County Government Center, which houses the sheriff’s office. (Google Maps)

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser charged former Adams County Sheriff Rick Reigenborn, along with two other former sheriff executives, with four felonies Wednesday for allegedly lying about completing required training.

Reigenborn is charged with an attempt to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony; forgery, a Class 5 felony; conspiracy to attempt to influence a public servant, a Class 5 felony; and conspiracy to commit forgery, a Class 6 felony.

Former Undersheriff Thomas McLallen and former Division Chief Michael Bethel face the same charges.


Reigenborn, McLallen and Bethel allegedly signed rosters for June 2021 training classes they did not actually attend and then submitted training certificates to the state “in an attempt to count these fictitious trainings towards their 2021 mandatory annual training hours,” according to affidavit documents. After June 2021 arrest control and driving courses, Reigenborn and Bethel allegedly signed the roster without participating in the courses. McLallen, who had a doctor’s appointment listed on his Outlook calendar for that day, had his name last on the roster, with “cordova signed for him” in the signature box.

Sergeant Dan Cordova told investigators that the trio’s practice of signing rosters for trainings they did not attend had been going on for about four years, but he remained silent because he wanted a promotion. Cordova said he made reports to an internal whistleblowing system.

Several people told investigators that they did not see the three at the June 2021 training.

McLallen also allegedly signed rosters for training he did not attend in November 2021, because he was at a separate law enforcement course. Additionally, Bethel allegedly logged into McLallen’s online account to complete training on his behalf in December 2021.

Colorado peace officers are required to complete 24 hours of in-service training per year, including 12 hours in arrest control, driving, and firearms.

“A foundation of effective policing is reliable and sound training. Well-trained officers build community trust and confidence in law enforcement. We’ll continue to take seriously any allegation of efforts to disregard state-mandated training or submit fraudulent training records to POST,” Weiser said in a statement.

Reigenborn was sheriff from 2018 until 2022. He lost a primary election in June 2022.


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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado.