PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS OF THIS REVIEW SERIES:
by Irvin Muchnick
The U.S. Center for SafeSport is investigating a complaint about George Gibney that was submitted last year by Maureen O’Sullivan, the Irish House of Assembly member who has been spearheading efforts to get Gibney extradited back to Ireland on dozens of sexual abuse charges — those for which he got off the hook, thanks to a curious 1994 Irish Supreme Court ruling, plus others.
The SafeSport Center’s work includes looking into Gibney’s rape and impregnation of a teen swimmer on his Irish club, out of the Newpark Comprehensive School, during a 1991 training trip in Florida.
The other aspect of the American watchdog agency’s jurisdiction involves Gibney’s mysterious history in the state of Colorado, for the approximately five years ending in 2000. Site stats at Concussion Inc. show a spike in searches for “Arvada” and “Wheat Ridge,” the names of the two Denver suburbs where police reports on Gibney were generated through this period. My guess is that some of these searches are from Irish news outlets seeking to reverse-engineer and shadow our reporting, which began in 2015.
The Arvada police got involved after an allegation of sexual misconduct against Gibney when he was coaching the North Jeffco swim team out of that city’s recreation center. Arvada police and government officials twice have synopsized their report for us, but they refuse to release it in full; I have determined that state open records act litigation would be fruitless because the Colorado statute broadly empowers police departments to withhold documents from public production.
Among the questions raised by our reporting on the tantalizing tidbits so far known are: Why did Arvada PD assign this matter to a now-retired sergeant who seemed to have had a kid on Gibney’s team, or at least a strong interest in the kid? And why was the only outcome of the case that the North Jeffco club quietly dismissed Gibney — thus allowing him to continue to roam not just the U.S. for another quarter of a century, but even the same Colorado community for an additional five years?
The Wheat Ridge police got involved after Gibney’s employer there, in a non-swimming industry job, was alerted to his Irish past and went to the cops. In the first years of his retirement from coaching, he had somehow managed to get himself appointed to positions with a state government-subsidized program for at-risk kids and with a Catholic Church-sponsored eye clinic mission in Peru. No doubt thanks in part to this police report (which I published in full four years ago, leaving out only the name of the informant), Gibney soon moved on from Colorado to California, to other states, and ultimately back to Florida, scene of his 1991 crime before he was even a U.S. resident.