Former Colorado DOC investigator found guilty of pulling over restaurant workers after argument

Gary Valko

PARKER, Colo. — Following a jury trial, a former Colorado Department of Corrections investigator has been found guilty of official oppression, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said 61-year-old Gary Valko, of Parker, mistreated people while purporting to act in an official capacity.

On Sept. 10, 2017, Valko was driving his DOC-issued Chevrolet Impala through a drive-thru of a Parker restaurant when he got into an argument with employees about a recent price increase, according to the DA’s office.

“When Valko began cursing, one of the employees asked him to leave and said he would call the cops if he did not leave,” a press release from the DA’s office states.

Valko then told the employee, “I am the police,” and said he worked for the FBI. He then made a punching motion toward the employees before driving away.

Later, Valko pulled over two of the restaurant’s employees after they left work.

“Valko pulled up alongside in his vehicle in order to prove that he was actually was a law enforcement officer. He said, ‘What if I pulled a gun on you? What if I had shot you?'” the press release states.

After Valko drove away, the restaurant employees reported the incident by flagging down a Parker Police Department officer.

“Badge or no badge, nobody is above the law in our community,” said District Attorney George Brauchler in the statement. “The significant authority and broad discretion with which we entrust our law enforcement officers is to be used for the enforcement of our laws and public safety, not to assuage anger or to make a point to young, hourly employees doing their jobs.”

Deputy District Attorney Matt Chaput, one of the prosecutors in the case, said Valko created a bad reputation for himself and the law enforcement community as a whole.

Valko’s sentencing is scheduled for April 11. His charge of official oppression is a class-2 misdemeanor.

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