In court documents obtained by 9Wants to Know, investigators spell out systematic fraud between Adams County Public Works employees and Quality Paving of Adams County.
Adams County Sheriff's detectives say the county, in one instance, paid $35,340 to Quality Paving for a slurry seal treatment on 88th Avenue from Imboden Road to the Denver International Airport property line, according to court documents obtained by 9NEWS.
The road was never resurfaced even though detectives say Adams County Road Inspector Stacey Parkin signed off in her daily log that the project had been completed.
"It doesn't make any sense," said Jodie Boen who owns property along 88th Avenue which has several potholes.
"It's apparent when you're driving on it, not only visually but in your vehicle," she said as she pointed at potholes in the road.
"I have multiple properties in Adams County and you always wonder where those funds go," Boen said.
Prosecutors charged Parkin and her former boss and former Adams County Construction Manager Sam Gomez last month with theft, conspiracy to commit theft, forgery, attempt to influence a public servant and embezzlement of public property.
Prosecutors believe Parkin and Gomez acted in collusion with Quality Paving to bill the county for more work than was done in some cases and in other cases for work never even started.
From 2004 to 2008, the county continually awarded road construction bids to Quality Paving.
Gomez retired from the county in 2008, two years before he was charged, and receives full retirement benefits according to County Administrator Jim Robinson.
Parkin was put on paid leave March 9 and has collected more than $22,000 since then in pay even though she has not been allowed to return to work.
The county continues to pay her salary of $4,438 each month.
Robinson says paid leave is the county's only option because the investigation into Parkin's alleged collusion is still ongoing and he has not received updates.
"Our procedures are based on the fact that normal employees have a right to their job and their property and there has to be due process before you can discipline them," he told 9Wants to Know Investigative Reporter Jace Larson.
"We're the government so if we violate someone's constitutional rights, then we have to pay attorney fees plus any damages," he said.
Court costs or damages the county could have to pay Parkin if she was improperly fired could be more than the salary the county has paid her thus far, he said.
Robinson says he is not sure how long the county will pay Parkin's salary.
The county must hold an employment hearing before the county can stop her paychecks and that won't happen until Robinson learns more details about the investigation, he said.
Parkin and Gomez could not be reached for comment on the pending charges.
In Parkin's arrest affidavit, obtained by 9Wants to Know, an Adams County Sheriff's detective says he discovered fraud and theft of $402,124.51 for resurfacing programs and $1.4 million in theft and fraud from road construction programs that were supposed to be completed by Quality Paving.
The county paid $43,358 in 2007 for slurry seal that was supposedly applied to 56th Avenue between Monahan Road and Imboden Road, according to court documents.
Parkin completed a daily log indicating the work had been completed.
"None of the road had been treated with slurry seal in 2007 - or since then," the detective wrote in the affidavit after receiving other reports.
Also in 2007, the county paid $5,016 for slurry seal that should have been applied to 77th Avenue between Pennsylvania and Washington, but the road was not resurfaced, according to the arrest affidavit.
In other cases, the detective alleges Quality Paving overcharged the county for projects on Imboden Road from 88th Avenue to 120th Avenue, 168th Avenue from Hudson Street to the dirt road and 152nd Avenue between Hayesmount Road and Watkins Road.
The amount overbilled for those three projects is $60,892, according to court documents.
The county also paid $515,000 for what a detective calls "unauthorized" amounts for costs like construction item storage and specific items used in construction. Those costs were included in other line items.
Court paperwork says such costs were forbidden in the county's contract with Quality Paving.
The Adams County District Attorney's office has refused to provide 9Wants to Know with more information, citing the nature of the ongoing investigation.
Prosecutors charged Louie Schimpf, Dennis Coen and Heath Allen Russo of Quality Paving with theft, conspiracy to commit theft, forgery and attempt to influence a public servant.
Quality Paving's website lists Louis Schimpf as the vice president, general manager and estimator. The website lists Dennis Coen as a senior vice president of the company. Heath Russo is not listed as a current employee on the website.
None of the three could be reached for comment and employees at Quality Paving declined to go on camera.
An Adams County detective says in the affidavit that he interviewed Troy Beer who said he worked for Quality Paving from 1994 to 1999 and from 2001 to 2005 as a project estimator.
Beer said Jerry Rhea, who is listed on Quality Paving's website as the president of the company, would frequently buy Adams County Construction Manager Sam Gomez Denver Broncos memorabilia. Rhea has not been charged.
Beer stated Rhea had him go to nfl.com and "use either the company credit card or Rhea's credit card to buy helmets, jerseys, etc," according to court paperwork.
"The project would then be mailed to Quality Resurfacing and it would be taken to Sam Gomez or Sam Gomez would come over to pick it up," Beer told the detective, the arrest affidavit states.
Beer also said he was aware that employees of Quality Resurfacing had done landscaping work at Gomez's house and that the employees were paid by Quality Resurfacing.
If convicted on all charges, the five people charged face jail time. The charge of theft carries up to 16 years in prison.
Do you know more information about this investigation or have a tip for investigative reporter Jace Larson, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-871-1432. Follow him on Twitter: jacelarson.
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