LOG LANE VILLAGE, Colo. — This town of 800 residents has two police officers tasked with watching over their safety, yet a 9NEWS investigation reveals one of them is currently out on bond for a felony case, and the other faced allegations for sending nude photos to women while on duty.
Officer Dawn Fliszar is facing five felony charges out of Arapahoe County. She is suspected of pocketing more than $30,000 worth of VIN inspection fees while working for the Town of Morrison as a police officer in 2021.
In the case filed against her by state investigators, Fliszar is also accused of conducting 640 incomplete VIN inspections that may have allowed vehicles to be sold at a value higher than they would have been if they were properly marked as salvage.
“No comment,” Fliszar told the author of this article when he found her on patrol in Log Lane last week. “You can talk to the town. I have no comment.”
Currently, Fliszar’s state certification under the Colorado Peace Officer and Standards (POST) unit hasn’t been affected by her pending felony case. The certification gives her clearance to be a law enforcement officer with proper academy training.
State law still permits officers with pending criminal cases to remain POST certified. However, in many towns and cities like Denver, officers face immediate suspension without pay until such a case is resolved in court.
A felony conviction would decertify Fliszar.
“It's highly unusual that we would see an officer who has an open felony case, leaving one department and going to another department,” said Dr. Phil Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green State University who has tracked 20,000 troubled officers.
“If we see an officer who has very serious felony charges that go to the core of her essence, of telling the truth, that will erode police legitimacy over time,” Stinson said.
While Log Lane village administrators would not return numerous phone calls about Fliszar’s history, records obtained by 9NEWS reveal she did not disclose her pending felony case in her job application. Fliszar did put down she had a speeding ticket in 2016.
Fliszar is scheduled to go to trial in her case in February.
Another Log Lane officer with a troubled past
Log Lane Officer Pedro Malave also works in this town and has a troubled past at a prior police agency.
In 2016, Malave resigned from the Commerce City Police Department before he was to be fired for sending thousands of sexual text messages and nude images to four women while on duty.
Internal affairs records also indicate Malave was suspected of using his police-issued phone to “procure steroids.”
Malave was never charged with a crime, but Stinson said Malave’s past could bring trouble to Log Lane and other towns and cities that hire such troubled officers.
“What we've seen in my research, is that when an officer is accused of those types of things, these are not one-off situations. It is typically a pattern of behavior that they continue to engage in,” Stinson said.
When will POST certification be removed?
In August 2021, former Log Lane Chief of Police Joshua Katz pleaded guilty to felony charges after a domestic violence arrest.
Online POST records show “decertification” has occurred on his record, meaning he can’t be a law enforcement officer in Colorado. Records show he was decertified because of the felony conviction.
Katz resigned from his job as chief in June 2021. The department does not currently have a chief.
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From November 2021: Log Lane Village police corporal arrested, charged with child abuse
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