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Colorado cop jailed after faking home, auto burglaries

February 13, 2018, Silt, CO — A former Silt police officer was escorted Tuesday by Garfield County sheriff deputies to the county jail after being sentenced to spend 45 days there for felony insurance fraud.

Michael Taylor, 49, avoided time in state prison, however, instead receiving a suspended five-year state Department of Corrections sentence as long as he complies with terms of a five-year probation. Those conditions include serving 100 hours of public service and making financial restitution for his crime by paying back more than $70,000, including interest.

Taylor was sentenced by 9th Judicial District Chief Judge James Boyd after previously pleading guilty to felony charges of insurance fraud and theft of between $20,000 and $100,000.

The charges stem from three insurance claims from 2010 to 2015. These involved two reported burglaries at his New Castle home and a third from his wife’s car, and items including jewelry, his passport and a safe.

Taylor had been a police officer more more than 20 years, spending most of his career in Pennsylvania. He was a corporal in the Silt department, which he joined in 2011.

He was prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office. Jason Slothouber, an assistant attorney general, recommended that Boyd sentence Taylor to four to six years in prison.

“I think it’s very important in this case that Mr. Taylor (was) a police officer,” Slothouber said.

He said the public trusts officers to be truthful and make the right decisions.

“It undermines our best who are in law enforcement when somebody becomes dishonest and becomes corrupt,” he said.

He said Taylor’s deception continues even today as he fails to acknowledge his intent to defraud. Slothouber said Taylor has given conflicting accounts about whether a watch he reported stolen was a Rolex or a knockoff, and he traveled to Pennsylvania to pawn jewelry so as not to have the sales show up in pawn records in Colorado.

Taylor’s wife and some friends spoke in his support to Boyd and asked that he be given the chance to continue helping raise his two young children rather than having to go to prison.

Said his attorney, Ryan Kalamaya, “At the end of the day this is a father, a husband, a person who has given to his community and has saved a lot of people. He has done a lot of good work.”

Kalamaya said Taylor is still recovering from an injury suffered last year in the line of duty. Taylor wore a wrist brace during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.

Taylor apologized before being sentenced.

“I can tell you that every day these poor decisions, they haunt me and make me sick to my core, especially knowing what I’ve done,” he told Boyd.

But Boyd told Taylor he didn’t appear to have fully acknowledged his wrongdoing in the crimes. He said it’s important to recognize Taylor’s career of service to the community as a policeman, but he also noted the role that trust plays in such service.

“It is an injury to a community when a person in a law enforcement position breaches that trust,” he said.

Source: The Daily Sentinel

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