By Zachary R. Mider and Zeke Faux, Bloomberg News
Robert Mercer, the New York hedge fund manager and backer of President Donald Trump, is flashing a new badge.
For most of the past six years, Mercer was a volunteer policeman in the tiny town of Lake Arthur, N.M., an arrangement that allowed him to carry a concealed weapon in any U.S. state under a law that applies only to law-enforcement officers. As Bloomberg Businessweek reported last month, Mercer gave up his New Mexico badge for undisclosed reasons in September. The mayor of Lake Arthur shut the volunteer program last week.
But the 71-year-old financier is still in the law-enforcement game. Last week, a lawyer for the office of Sheriff Chad Day of Yuma County confirmed that Mercer is a volunteer member of the agency.
“From time to time, he serves in certain roles as designated by the sheriff,” said the lawyer, Robert Lees, who also helped set up the sheriff’s volunteer posse. Yuma is a rural northeastern Colorado county with a population of about 10,000 that borders Nebraska and Kansas.
In 2016, a year before Mercer gave up his Lake Arthur badge, a foundation he controls paid for a new $64,428 Dodge Ram 1500 Limited pickup truck for the Colorado sheriff’s official use, according to a budget presentation to the county’s board of commissioners explaining the donation.
“The sheriff’s vehicle has needed to be replaced for three years now and would not have been replaced with something so nice, but still would have required approximately $40,000 of county expenditure,” the presentation said.
A spokesman for Mercer’s hedge fund declined to comment. Day said in an interview that he doesn’t trade badges for donations. “That’s not what’s going on in my agency,” he said.
Day refused to comment on any individual posse members, saying the names of volunteers were kept secret for safety reasons. That was before the lawyer for the sheriff’s office confirmed Mercer was a volunteer.
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In addition to the truck, the Mercer-backed Law Enforcement Education Foundation also donated Tasers worth more than $20,000, Day said. He said he is hoping to win another grant from the foundation to replace some outdated handguns.
“There are people that are supportive of my office because they’re good people that want to help,” he said. “It’s an awesome thing for there to be people in the world like that, and I’m really thankful …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Business