Colorado sheriff denies making billionaire robert mercer volunteer deputy in exchange for pickup – 41 action news

Bloomberg News reported Monday that Mercer and Yuma County Sheriff Chad Day had an arrangement that allowed Mercer, who is 71 years old, to be a volunteer with the sheriff’s office, and that that agreement led to Day receiving a new truck from a private law enforcement organization.

Mider has reported in recent months that Mercer, who until recently was CEO of New York hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC, had been a volunteer police officer in a small New Mexico town and that the arrangement allowed Mercer to carry a concealed weapon in any U.S. state under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA).

“From time to time, he serves in certain roles as designated by the sheriff,” Lees said, as reported by Bloomberg.

He additionally reported that Day said some volunteers were "directly involved in confidential undercover operations that involve direct ties and associations with the Mexican Cartel," though he did not say that Mercer was directly involved in those operations.

Bloomberg additionally reported that two men, George Wells and Peter Pukish, were also volunteer officers in New Mexico and volunteer deputies in Yuma County, and hinted that an organization for which the two were board members – the Law Enforcement Education Foundation – was involved in the alleged quid pro quo agreement.

“2016 Dodge Ram Pickup – Unit #162 – Hoover shared an email from Sheriff Day showing the invoice and title for the 2016 Dodge Ram Pickup donated by the Law Enforcement Education Foundation for use by Sheriff Day,” the minutes for that meeting show.

And further, the sheriff’s 2017 budget proposal notes show that the sheriff’s office considered the LEEF grants a “new funding source” that “just this year replaced the Sheriff’s vehicle including upfit with a very nice Dodge Ram 1500 Limited valued at $64,428.”

In an interview Monday, Day didn’t deny using the LEEF grants or having a volunteer program like the “sheriff’s posse.” But on multiple occasions, he declined to say who worked as volunteers, though he denied having any sort of tit-for-tat arrangement with Mercer or LEEF.

He said a friend of his told him about the LEEF grants, and that he’d applied and been awarded several of the projects he’d applied for. An archived LEEF website notes that its mission is to "help law enforcement officers and agencies in training, equipment, matching funds and family line-of-duty funds grant."

“I don’t have any issue with allowing people from other states – if they’re willing and have means and skills – to be willing to come help me out for particular cases or particular areas,” he said. “Regardless of where volunteers live, and regardless of how they want to volunteer, I’m the sheriff of a fairly small agency in a rural part of this state, and I don’t have enough staff to do all the things that statute requires of a sheriff.”

Mercer financially backed Cambridge Analytica, which Denver7 has reported in recent weeks had a role in Colorado’s 2014 election, and whose was used to help Republicans eventually retake the state Senate. Yuma is also home to Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senator, Cory Gardner, whose spokesman said he didn’t know anything about the story aside from what he’d read in Bloomberg.

“I personally have a liability for doing that and any action that’s taken as a result of [granting a volunteer allowances to carry a weapon],” Day said. “So it’s certainly not something I take lightly and absolutely not something I’m interested in selling.”