2019 CSPI Meetings

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


All meetings begin at 6:30pm at the Denver Athletic Club (1325 Glenarm Pl, Denver, CO 80204).


*Non-members will be required to pay a $15.00 fee to attend meetings.

Next CSPI Meeting

Date: March 20, 2019
Day: Wednesday
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Denver Athletic Club
1325 Glenarm Place, Denver, Colorado

$15.00 non-membership fee will be collected, check or cash.

Agenda:  Ellis Armistead will be informing us of how law enforcement responds to crime scenes, methods of investigations, interview and interrogation scenarios, note keeping arrest and search warrant applications along with rule 41.1-the gathering of non-testimonial information such as hair samples,saliva,etc.,what goes to the DA’s Office for a case to be filed, what the DA’s responsibility during review and acceptance of an investigation, what happens next, PH, court appearances, motions hearings, dispositions and trial. If time permits I will fill in with the Grand Jury issues. The importance of this-it will help all involved in criminal defense work.  Ellis is the Colorado expert in this.

Remember the purpose of this association — we are different than all others. This a learning journey for many of you. Take advantage, get involved, participate, and ATTEND MEETINGS. We are all busy, but there is nothing more important than learning and understanding your craft. As discussed in the past, the chances are slim you will get hired to conduct an investigation of a public entity, but the learning opportunity is there – take advantage of it!


This year, I would like to concentrate on Special Districts. This has been discussed at past meetings, as well as at the Academy. Let’s say a client hires you to investigate the activity of the XYZ Fire Protection District and you have no other information. You are given a flat fee contract for $15,000.00. What and how would conduct that investigation?

This is how these investigations start – a phone call. Imagination and creativity is what sets investigators apart, along with some other basic skills, document review, interviews, along with the CORA request.

I am requesting that each member bring to this month’s meeting your target ‘Special District.’ You do the homework on who you want to go after.

Click below for additional information and to sign up for these unique PI courses.

Learn PI skills and techniques in this 6 evening course.

Learn More

Our Goals

The 2019 goal of the Colorado Society of Private Investigators (CSPI) will be the investigation of Public Corruption by using the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). Members will learn how to draft a CORA Request, review government documents, policies and procedures, conduct interviews, conduct surveillance if necessary, and draft a final report of your findings. There is no state organization in the country that actively pursues Public Corruption.

Public Corruption is defined as: The violation of a public official’s duty of faith towards his or her community. Public corruption investigations will be limited to Colorado municipalities, counties, political subdivisions in the State of Colorado, and could include:

  • Reimbursement expenses submitted by government employees.
  • Review of campaign contributions donated to elected officials and then review of voting records or pending legislation to determine if any conflicts of interests can be found.
  • Conduct surveillance of city, county or state maintenance vehicles and determine what goes on during their shift (whether or not they are really working).
  • Review expenses of local school board members: what reimbursements they receive, such as babysitting expenses while attending meetings, mileage, meals, etc., on behalf of the school district.
  • Review local fire protection or water district expenses as it relates to subcontractor, service orders and employee reimbursement.
  • Use your imagination!

A Colorado private investigator’s license is not needed in order to participate in this program.

Those members who participate will be divided into teams of three or four. Each team will prepare an investigation document which will outline your particular investigation. That document will go to the CSPI president for review and back to the team who will draft the CORA Request on official letterhead.

The 2019 CSPI membership fee will be $100. Members will appear on the CSPI Membership page and be part of the CSPI ListServ. Because of the sensitive nature of these investigations, meetings will be closed to the public. Casual business attire is requested to attend meetings. CSPI meetings are classroom style, educational and training only; no food or alcohol.

CSPI Public Corruption Experts

CSPI President RICK JOHNSON’s public corruption experience:

  • Rick was hired in 1990 by the Denver Election Commission to investigate allegations of campaign finance irregularities, money laundering, and kickbacks during the 1987 mayoral election. His investigation was completed February 1991 and the City & County of Denver reexamined its campaign finance law as a direct result of that investigation. The three-volume, 600+ page report can be found in all Denver Public Libraries.
  • Rick was hired by the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners Office concerning allegations of misconduct involving County Court Clerk Tracy Baker. Rick 1, Baker 0.
  • Rick was hired by the cities of Breckenridge, Fort Lupton, Fowler, and Central City to investigate their respective police chiefs for allegations of official misconduct. Rick 4, Police Chiefs 0.
  • Rick was hired by Aurora Public Schools to investigate Aurora Public Schools Board Director Eric Nelson. His report determined that Nelson lied about many of his academic and professional credentials.

CSPI Member DAN LUZADDER, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and writer, who acts as consultant to private investigators on inquiries in the public interest. He brings more than 30 years’ experience in complex investigations on behalf of major US newspapers and magazines on a wide range of subjects that include public corruption, white collar and cold-case criminal inquires, and political conduct and intrigue.

He has specialized in uncovering hard-to-find information, sophisticated source development and intelligence gathering. He has been recognized by major journalistic and civic organizations related to his investigative reporting. He has been recognized by the American Bar Association for his contributions to public understanding of issues of civic importance, and is a member of the Scripps Howard Journalism Hall of Fame.

Honorary CSPI Member JEFFREY ROBERTS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. He was at the Denver Post from 1984-2007 as a reporter, assistant city editor and data journalism specialist on The Post’s projects team. He later spent four years at the University of Denver’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future. Early in his career, he was a reporter at the News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida. Roberts earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University.

Honorary CSPI Member TODD SHEPHERD, recognized investigative reporter for the Independence Institute, graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in Radio and TV Journalism, and went on to start his investigative reporting career in Oklahoma City and Denver. He has broken numerous stories and is a winner of three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. He is founder and co-editor of the website CompleteColorado.com and is an expert when it comes to the use of the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) Requests.

You will lose nothing by attending this meeting with the exception of being part of something never attempted before. Time to peel back the onion and take a peek – who knows what you might find.

Past Meetings

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 – 6:30 PM at Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discuss Member Investigations.
  2. Discuss ideas for 2018 CORA requests.
  3. Suggestions for prospective speakers.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – 6:30 PM at Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discussion with Tracy Aguero about the Missy Bevers case.
  2. Discuss the 2018 schedule.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017 – 6:30 PM at Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discussion with Tracy Aguero about the Missy Bevers case.
  2. Discuss Pending CORA Requests


Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – 6:30 PM at Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discuss Member Investigations
  2. Discuss Pending CORA Requests
  3. Solve Investigative Scenarios
  4. How NOT to Handle a Stalker


Wednesday, August 16, 2017 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discuss Member Investigations
  2. Discuss Results of CORA Requests
  3. Solve Investigative Scenarios


Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discuss Member Investigations
  2. Finalize Member CORA Requests
  3. Solve Investigative Scenarios


Wednesday, May 17, 2017 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discuss Member Investigations
  2. Guest Speaker Joseph Selph on Data Evidence
  3. Review CORA Progress


Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Discuss Member Investigations
  2. Guest Speaker Chris Wells on Cell Phone Forensics
  3. Review CORA Progress

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Review of Current Corruption Investigations
  2. Guest Speaker Keith Cloud on Qui tam lawsuits
  3. Introduction to Investigative Assignments


Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. New Member Introduction
  2. Review of 2016 Public Corruption Investigations
  3. Group discussion of 2017 Objectives


Thursday, November 10 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Year-end meeting
  2. Discussion
  3. Review of documents


Tuesday, October 4 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Document follow-up if needed
  2. Draft final report
  3. Group discussion


Tuesday, September 6 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Review documentation
  2. Discussion
  3. Additional follow-up if needed


Thursday, July 7 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  1. Individual group presentations of their target
  2. Draft CORA Requests
    1. To be issued no later than July 21.
  3. Group Discussion

Between July 7 and September 6
the CORA Requests will be issued


Tuesday, June 14 – 6:30 PM at the Denver Athletic Club

  4. Target discussion
  5. Form groups
    1. Group discussion of potential targets