Resigned FCPS officer sued for false DUI charges


Collegian file photo

Allie Seibel, Editor in Chief

Several Northern Colorado residents are suing former Fort Collins Police Services officer Jason Haferman after a string of false DUI arrests and charges in 2021 and 2022. After at least 14 DUI arrests that were later dismissed by a plaintiff, an internal investigation by Fort Collins Police Services eventually led to Haferman’s resignation.

“We had, in the past two or three years, had our concerns kind of raised when we had gotten reports or investigations done by Jason Haferman long before any lawsuit was filed,” said Matthew Haltzman, founder of Haltzman Law Firm, who has been a practicing criminal attorney for almost 10 years and represents Derrick Groves, one of five people suing Haferman. “He was known as someone who was not always truthful or engaging in police practices that were not by the book.”


According to the internal report conducted, six policy allegations were placed against Haferman. Of those six, four were sustained, and according to the report, if Haferman had not resigned before the conclusion of the investigation, he would have been terminated.

“This investigation revealed issues with Officer Haferman’s ability to accurately document his police actions, complete his reports in a timely manner and give accurate testimony,” the conclusion of the report read. “This investigation was initiated because of the district attorney refusing to accept and prosecute any of Officer Haferman’s cases. This is a significant decision by the district attorney and clearly demonstrates their loss of trust in Officer Haferman.”

All five lawsuits were filed May 3. The lawsuits were against not only Haferman but also against his supervisor, an unnamed corporal and the City of Fort Collins.

“What we started seeing when we started compiling the data between different DUIs and court orders from the county district court was that he had no aberrations acting unconstitutionally or acting against policy but was actually engaging in a pattern and practice of policy violations, unconstitutional activity and making false and wrongful arrests,” Haltzman said. “We were able to kind of map that out with a series of individuals who were extremely brave that were willing to come forward and tell their stories and interactions with Jason Haferman and Fort Collins Police. And so that’s kind of the foundation of how this all formed.”

“As a Fort Collins police officer, he has interaction with everyone in Fort Collins, including (Colorado State University) students who are driving to their homes and young professionals and, in certain cases, veterans and elderly individuals. I mean, he just did not discriminate.” –Matthew Haltzman, criminal attorney

Haltzman said his client, Groves, a Loveland resident, came into contact with Haferman April 7, 2022, after his Tesla went off the roadway because of an overcorrection issue while steering. All witnesses on the scene attested that Groves was sober, but when Haferman got to the scene, it became a DUI investigation, and Groves was arrested. He later had his case dismissed two months later after taking a blood test to prove his sobriety following the arrest.

“What we have learned through this process is that once Haferman decided he was going to make an arrest for DUI, it didn’t matter what the evidence is, it didn’t matter what somebody was saying,” Haltzman said. “It didn’t matter how well they perform on roadside tests or how well they were communicating — he was going to make that arrest.”

According to the lawsuits, Haferman made more DUI arrests in one year than anyone in the history of FCPS, and in 2021, he regularly deactivated his body-worn camera during interactions with civilians. Disabling a body cam is against the law.

“As a Fort Collins police officer, he has interaction with everyone in Fort Collins, including (Colorado State University) students who are driving to their homes and young professionals and, in certain cases, veterans and elderly individuals,” Haltzman said. “I mean, he just did not discriminate.”

The CSU Police Department did not comment on the issue, as it was not directly connected with the university.


Haltzman said in the event of a false DUI charge, the driver should remain calm and know their constitutional rights and protections, and they should get in touch with a legal counsel.

“It’s a really difficult situation,” Haltzman said. “It a great question because it’s like, what do you do when the people who are supposed to be administering and enforcing law are the ones breaking it, right? It’s kind of almost an impossible answer.”

All claims made in civil lawsuits are allegations, and all defendants named in these lawsuits are considered innocent until and unless proven otherwise.

Reach Allie Seibel at or on Twitter @allie_seibel_.