UPDATE: Douglas Bruce just requested an internal affairs investigation against police Detective Matthew Hulett. Click here to read Bruce’s e-mail to Deputy Police Chief Pete Carey.
A Colorado Springs police detective struggled to explain today why he sent anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce an e-mail on Friday asking, “Punch any reporters lately?”
“Yes, it was me, and basically it was just dumb. That’s about the best thing I could tell you,” said Detective Matthew Hulett, who works in the Financial Crimes Unit.
“In fact, I tried to recall (the e-mail after sending it), but that was unsuccessful. You know, hindsight is 20/20,” he said.
Hulett, a 10-year veteran, e-mailed Bruce using his work e-mail.
“It was just poor judgment of me,” he said.
Hulett wouldn’t say what prompted him to send the e-mail in the first place.
“I really can’t give you a good reason,” he said.
Police spokesman Sgt. Darrin Abbink said the matter may warrant an internal affairs investigation.
“At this point, I can’t comment on something that looks like it would be an internal investigation,” Abbink said.
“But based upon what you’ve told me, I think we probably need to contact Mr. Bruce and find out from him what happened and see if he has a complaint that he wants to file,” he said.
Bruce, who shared a copy of the e-mail with The Gazette, called it a case of “genuine” misconduct.
“I don’t know to whom I should complain,” Bruce said in an e-mail.
Hulett said he had not yet notified his supervisor but planned to do so.
“My deepest apologies to everyone involved,” he said.
The question posed by Hulett in the e-mail – “Punch any reporters lately?” – could be in reference to a 2008 incident in which Bruce kicked a newspaper photographer during House prayer at the state Capitol. Bruce said it wasn’t a kick but a nudge.
“I made a mistake — I trusted a journalist,” Bruce told the Denver Post after receiving a formal censure. “I won’t do that again.”