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Entries in Mesa County Sheriff's Office (15)

Wednesday
Oct192016

Mesa County Government, Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Previous Sheriff Hilkey, Multiple Mesa County Deputies, and Contracted Mesa County Healthcare Provider Hit with Massive Lawsuit 

VetTheGov usually performs searches on Pacer from time to time and VetTheGov came across this massive lawsuit filed in district court against Mesa County Government entities Case #16CV851, filed in April-2016, related to the death of Tomas Beauford at the Mesa County Detention Facility. Named in the lawsuit are former Sheriff Hilkey and sixteen other Mesa County deputies, Correct Care Solutions, LLC (contracted healthcare provider for the county jail), four nurses, a correctional physicians and healthcare group connected to CCS.

Mesa County taxpayers are under contract with CCS for just under $140,000.00 monthly for healthcare related services to jail inmates. CCS, based on court filings, seems to have a long history of similar issues and litigation when providing medical services for local county jails (see paragraphs 152-172 in below case filing). Mesa County has employed the services of Lewis Brisbois Denver office to represent the county and employees named in the litigation. Only time will tell how much this event will cost the taxpayers of Mesa County.

The current case is currently at the point of discovery in which motion after motion will be filed by both sides. Stay tuned as VetTheGov will keep you apprised of any outcomes in this case! In the meantime, please read the disturbing case below.

 

Tomas Beauford-picture taken from public lawsuit

Thursday
Jan212016

UPDATE: County Commissioner Justman Admits to never opening Email, Mesa County DHS caught in Cover Up, and County Internal Investigations Galore

VetTheGov broke this story regarding Commissioner John Justman not answering an email complaint regarding a Mesa County employee. After publishing the email in question Commissioner Justman actually responded to VetTheGov via email shown below admitting to never even opening the email:

Over the week end I received a copy of the email you sent out. I did not read that email from November 17th. That is my fault, but I never read that email.

After reading the email Sunday, other than Wade knows me, why would they not call the sheriff. 
If I had read this email, I would have contacted people with in the County to look into it.
There is movement within the County organization right now to find out what really has taken place.
Thanks,
John

Thanks John for the honesty here.  I agree they should have called the sheriff but in fact they did as noted in the email but didn't get much results as to why they then  reached out to you.  They didn't know where else to go since Pete works within the inside system.

I have reached out to Sheriff Lewis and has opened an internal investigation as well.  I am prayerful the family gets answers.
Thanks for the update.
Kevin

I know that Matt Lewis is working on this issue, as well as Pete Bair, who is over road and bridge department. I really don't want to comment more until I find out real information on what did or did not happen. I believe you will understand my position at this moment in time.
Thanks,
John

Hopefully Commissioner Justman will now begin opening his emails especially ones that are labeled County Employee Complaint!

As soon as the VetTheGov's story hit the internet waves, CORA request were underway into the many streams of this intriguing inside look of how Mesa County government works. One of the interesting email conversations obtained through CORA request of why Mesa County DHS decided to drive all the way down to Paonia to interrogate three young children has created quite the controversy between County Commissioners and DHS leaders in Delta and Mesa County. VetTheGov would like to know what was said in the cellphone "Blindside" conversation between Delta County DHS Manager Chuck Lemoine and Mesa County Manager Tracey Garcher.  See the email string below:


Several internal investigations have begun but the most disturbing of all of these is the way Mesa County DHS operates and conversations of supposed qualified professionals who go out and interrogate kids in our local community is shameful to say the least! Using private cell phones the following conversations of going outside jurisdiction and the CYA that has begun are included below:


VetTheGov will keep you updated as there is so much more including false reporting, reopened case reports, no emails on file, additional phone records, the fact that no field notes or audio or video documentation of child interrogations were obtained, child interrogation reports not indicative of what actually took place, the releasing of the confidential callers names (misdeameanor crime), and several emails of discussions for the addition of information be added to a reopened case report by top level DHS employees well after the case was closed on 12/23/2015.

Wednesday
Sep232015

How to Stop Federal Overreach by challenging Federal Grants into your community!

On September 21, 2015 VetTheGov attended the weekly Mesa County Commissioner meeting to confirm to the commissioners regarding the recent BLM's decision to close 4,000 miles of access to our public lands with zero consideration of petitions otherwise to contest the BLM decision.  During the business considerations a $52,000.00 Federal Grant from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was being considered for acceptance.  So VetTheGov stood and asked for the item to be moved to Individual Consideration.  It was moved by the commissioners and the below video will show you how to simply stand up and request specific answers be met.  Well the Grant approval was postponed and VetTheGov has since requested a full accounting of last years funding for the same Federal Grant.  

 

Below you will find the financial docs related to the Federal Grant revenue received and expenditures mostly for the emergency manager Andy Martsolf's paycheck and benefits, vehicle expenses, trips, sit & stand desktop equipment, and his cell phone expense all paid via Mesa County commingled General Funds. 

 

The following information was located from the original FEMA Grant posted online:

1. Have EMAC Membership http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nrf/EMACoverviewForNRF.pdf

2. Adopt NIMS http://www.fema.gov/national-incident-management-system

3. Adherence to all of the Acts under EHP http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1421336453304-d48abd61f8b2a35d2bad325ae49ae531/FP1080231_Environmental_Planning_Historic_Preservation_Policy.pdf & http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1388411752234-6ddb79121951a68e9ba036d2569aa488/18Dec13-NoNEPAReview.pdf

4. MUST comply with SAFECOM http://www.dhs.gov/safecom

5. Only 5% of award allowed for Management & Administration expenses.

6. MUST Comply with all of these!!!  http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/FY%2015%20Standard%20TC%20Version%205.1%202015-2-23.pdf

7. Develop and Maintain (long-term) a THIRA https://www.fema.gov/threat-and-hazard-identification-and-risk-assessment

8. Maintain EOP's and update every 2 years https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/25975

9. Complete the following Trainings:
In addition to training activities aligned to and addressed in the TEP, all EMPG Program funded
personnel shall complete the following training requirements and record proof of completion:
NIMS Training, Independent Study (IS)100, IS 200, IS 700, and IS 800, and other Independent Study courses identified in FEMA Professional Development Series.
Previous versions of the IS courses meet the NIMS training requirement. A complete list of Independent Study Program
Courses may be found at http://training.fema.gov/is

10. Develop and Maintain the following exercise program: 
All recipients will develop and maintain a progressive exercise program, consistent to the degree practical, with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
in support of the National Exercise Program (NEP). The NEP is critical to our Nation’s ability to test and validate core capabilities. To this end, grantees are highly encouraged to nominate exercises
into the NEP. For additional information on the NEP, please refer to http://www.fema.gov/national-exercise-program

11. Conduct no less than 4 exercise programs per calendar year and report all trainings and exercises.

12. Adhere to following guidelines:
• Coordination of Investments–resources must be allocated to address the most critical capability needs as identified in their SPR and coordinated among affected preparedness stakeholders.
•Transparency–stakeholders must be provided visibility on how preparedness grant funds are allocated and distributed, and for what purpose.
•Substantive Local Involvement–the tools and processes that are used to inform the critical priorities which DHS/FEMA grants support must include local government representatives. At the
state and regional levels, local risk assessments must be included in the overarching analysis to ensure that all threats and hazards are accounted for.
•Flexibility with Accountability–recognition of unique preparedness gaps at the local level, as well as maintaining and sustaining existing capabilities.
•Support of Regional Coordination–recognition of inter/intra-state partnerships and dependencies at the state and regional levels, and within metropolitan areas.

Mesa County Sheriff's Office responded to the above items with the following statements:

The following topics were specifically addressed by Mr. King in a follow up email exchange with the County Attorney:

1. EMAC Membership: EMAC is a compact that exists between states. The State of Colorado is an EMAC member. No responsive documents.
2. Adopt NIMS: Mesa County adopted NIMS on June 13, 2005 with resolution MCM 2005-097 (Attached)
3. Adherence to Acts under EHP: No responsive documents.
4. SAFECOM. This grant does not provide communication equipment. No responsive documents.
5. M&A: 0% of this grant is applied to M&A. No responsive documents.
6. Compliance with laws: No responsive documents.
7. THIRA: Currently a state requirement. Mesa County's hazard risk assessment is contained within the Hazard Mitigation Plan (Attached).
8. EOP Maintenance: 2013 version of EOP (Attached).
9. Training Requirements: EMPG funded personnel meet training requirements
10. Exercise Program: Training and Exercise plan is included in quarterly report-mesa county-1st qtr 2014 (Attached).
11. Conduct no less than 4 exercise programs per calendar year: This is a State requirement. County requirement is to sponsor or participate in a minimum of 3 exercises.
12. Adhere to guidelines: No responsive documents.

Now here is the complete paper trail all received via CORA request.  As you will see the paper trail deal with the devil is long but in the end all of these Grants wipe away our state and local 10th Amendment controls! 

Thursday
Jun112015

Breaking: Q & A with GJPD Chief Camper & MCSO Sheriff Lewis regarding Federal Overreach

VetTheGov was invited to attend a meeting put together by former sheriff candidate Mike Harlow on June 10, 2015 at 1PM with Grand Junction Police Chief Camper and Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis. VetTheGov asked permission to record the interview and it was agreed to by Chief Camper and Sheriff Lewis. With permission by Mike Harlow I have included his transcript from the interview along with the questions and answers received by both law enforcement leaders in Mesa County and the actual voice recording of the interview.

APOCALYPTIC ADVISER #57

Under Achievers;

Some of you Mesa County types may recall my recommending that SOMEONE should call the Chief of Grand Junction PD and the Mesa County Sheriff and arrange a meeting to learn who's side they would take not if but WHEN the excrement hits the rotary air impeller. Well I noticed how nobody got it done, so I did it myself fully expecting to be snubbed. Well, first I went to the PD unannounced and Chief John Camper saw me. I expressed concerns and told him of a similar meeting with Sheriff Hilkey 3 years ago. I asked the Chief the same question I asked Hilkey which was if given an order to collect guns in Mesa County would you follow such an order? Both Hilkey (three years ago) and Chief Camper (one month ago) answered, absolutely not. A lot of water went over the dam since then with much new political news not the least of which was Jade Helm so I put out the word I'd like another meeting with both the Chief and the new Sheriff, Matt Lewis. It happened one hour ago. Myself, Jim Hass (JJ), Carolyn Patton (TEA PARTY PRES.) Newsman, Kevin King and Lynn Hoff attended the meeting at the GJPD. I had 25 prepared questions for them. I first read a prepared page relating new and urgent Points Of Concern so they'd know why I was asking such serious questions. Below, I'll add the Points Of Concern letter and the questions asked with the scores of both the Chief and the Sheriff for you perusal.

Points Of Concern

Obama was Endorsed By the National Association Of Police Organizations in 2012. Also in the 2012 election, votes were counted by international criminal, George Soros. While running for president, Senator Obama announced the need for an “internal Security Force” as well equipped and well funded as the military. In an emergency which only he can declare, Obama can implement martial law, seize all the water, food, fuel, farm produce, factory produce, electricity. He can shut off the internet, telephones, TV, transportation and radio. He can conscript anyone for any job. He can without probable cause, arrest anyone and lock them up indefinitely without a trial, by simply calling them a terrorist. With Obama's sanction, Eric Holder orchestrated operation Fast & Furious where 2500 combat rifles were purchased with American taxes and walked strait to murdering drug cartels in Mexico. With these weapons, three thousand murders resulted to include Border Patrol Agent Bryan Terry. The idea was to blame the carnage on lax U.S. gun laws with the object being “Gun Control” which is a code word for people control. Obamacare is “extortion” complete with punishment for not buying something against your will. He said; If you like your doctor, keep him. If you like your healthcare plan, keep it. BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management. They are managers. They OWN nothing. Not one square inch of land anywhere. They are denying the public, access to the public lands. They are routinely calling these public lands BLM lands. I watched it happen during the trial of David Justice and no, I don't support him. BLM herded cattle with helicopters killing several. BLM pointed loaded guns at peaceful protesters and threatened to blow them away. When citizen guns were pointed back at them, they made a strategic advance to the rear in the “Interest Of Safety” (their own). This was done when they realized they weren't taking candy from a baby. For the record, the Bundy Ranch Incident was the second time in U.S. history where the second amendment was used as a last resort check on an out of control government. The first utilization was at the “Battle Of Athens”. It was in Tennessee just after WWII. They made a movie about it. The Bundy Ranch was diffused not because of anything done by BLM. It was diffused by armed militias who displayed incredible restraint. Of course militias have been painted by left wing propaganda as being out of control loose cannons owning “too many guns”. The current favorite term used to categorize anyone disagreeing with the commucrats, is of course “Right Wing Extremist”. Nowadays one need not be a commucrat to use this term. You may also call yourself a “Progressive”. Webster backs me up when I point this out to be a sugar coated euphemism for communist. When Obama was ordered by a judge to produce his American birth certificate, the only thing produced was a certified forgery made on an ink jet printer. This president has on numerous occasions given cash and weapons to enemies. This is treason. He has a long record of protecting Muslims. He tells us not to jump to conclusions about Muslim terrorists on American soil killing Americans after he jumped to a conclusion about the police reacting stupidly in the case of his pal the college professor. This list of Points Of Concern is by no means a complete list but it sure points to someone in the white House as being a criminal; fraud, hypocrite, traitor, serial liar and racist. He's getting a free ride because one of his parents was black. Anyone who disagrees with him is painted as a racist by the Obamabots in the media.

I'm not here to lead the charge over the white house fence. That's a job for the congress, supreme court and Joint Chiefs. The combined testosterone of this triad would not fill a thimble but hope springs eternal. It's my belief that the greatest hope we have of getting rid of this guy and saving this republic from a communist take over, lies with the Constitutional Sheriffs. It started here in Colorado. It then spread to Utah and is now going national. God Bless them for they refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws. They point out that they don't work for the federal government. They work for the people who elected them, us. This is not the case with any of the federal cop shops. Virtually all of them fall under DHS and frankly, that is scary. The feds to include the over rated FBI, are routinely violating the very document they swore an oath to protect. I'm not reporting something I heard or read. I witnessed it when I was a cop. When I pointed to their actions as raping the constitution, it just resulted in a smirk and the following comment: Don't sweat it Harlow. We're not raping the constitution. We're just giving her what she secretly wants. Janet Napolitano announced Janet Reno's findings through FBI 'that patriots would now be reclassified as the most likely group to go rogue and commit acts of terrorism against their own country. Having a flag outside your house, taking the bible too seriously, having too many guns, wearing NRA hats, being a veteran, a catholic, an evangelical or a “RETIRED COP” made you a likely candidate to become a terrorist. I suggest you never retire, lest you join me on the “Red List”. Napolitano was asked why the billions of rounds were being purchased? She casually answered they were expecting a revolution. This was the first time I heard the word revolution uttered in reference to our present situation and it wasn't by the “extreme right wing” but by the extreme left wing who are conducting a communist take over of this country. FEMA camps exist and can be found all over the country. These points do not sound like a government of, by and for the people. It sounds more like a government of, by and for the government. It does NOT sound like a symbiotic relationship between the government and the governed. Predictably, our concern is at a high level, so of course questions are in order. Some are my own. Some were submitted by others. I asked one of them of Stan Hilkey years ago and recently of Chief John Camper. There is a very real fear that one day soon, the ruler will announce yet another executive order that “IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY”, guns will now be confiscated. Some one will get this assignment. It may be any agency under DHS or it may fall to local cops. YES or NO answers are required followed by short explanations at your option. We realize these are tough questions and hope you realize they are justified by the Points Of Concern I just read to you. At the top of the question list is;

1. If ordered to confiscate guns (in violation of the Constitution which you swore an oath to defend against all enemies both foreign and domestic), will you obey such an order? YES or NO? (Chief-NO....Sheriff-NO) good

2. If ordered to assist federal cops, troops, foreign troops or the UN to enforce this criminal act, will you assist? YES or NO? (Chief-NO....Sheriff-NO)good

3. If ordered to step aside or stand down so the order can be implemented, will you step aside or stand down? YES or NO? (Chief-NO....Sheriff_NO)Good

4. Our former sheriff is the new head of the State Patrol, CBI and (Colorado)DHS. He dropped his participation in the law suit against our governor for this appointment. His job conflicts with itself as he is both a federal agent and a state officer. In the event of his arriving here to take over, will you step aside or stand down? YES or NO? (Chief-NO....Sheriff-NO)good

5. If a BLM standoff similar to the Bundy Ranch happens, (access to PUBLIC lands) will you order BLM to stand down? YES or NO? Chief-NO....Sheriff-NO) The sheriff said he would never let it come to a standoff.good enough

6. Will you keep the public lands in Mesa County open to the public?

YES or NO? (Chief-N/A....Sheriff-Probably not-Evasive) bad

7. Free Speech Zones are getting popular amongst the feds. As no such thing exists in the first amendment, will you tear down such insults to freedom?YES or NO? Chief-Sheriff both claimed no knowledge of it until I told them of the presidents visit and the Tea Party being restricted to a free speech zone where they were neither seen nor heard. Both claimed security concerns. I explained calling it a free speech zone was false and it was in fact a gag on free speech....we moved on. bad

8. Do you agree that a free speech zone is where we're standing at the time?
YES or NO? (Chief-YES!...Sheriff-YES!) It conflicts with the first answer.....does it not?good

9. Another concern of confiscation is stored food. The feds are tossing about a new catch phrase of “HOARDING”. Like wealthy folks being labeled “GREEDY” preppers will be labeled as HOARDERS. We strongly suspect the enablers in the federal government will label us as hoarders to confiscate our food and (like taxes) award it to the non earners in exchange for their votes. Will you tolerate the confiscation of private food? YES or NO? Chief-No....Sheriff-No good

10. Getting back to emergency powers, will you allow water to be confiscated under martial law, leaving Mesa County high and dry?

YES or NO? Chief-No....Sheriff-No

good

11. We have the very valuable Gulf Bulk Plant in Grand Junction. All fuel goes through it. Will you allow it to be confiscated leaving us to get around on foot?

YES or NO? Chief-No....Sheriff-No good

12. In the event of the federalization of cop shops, they might attempt to fire constitutional cops. Arresting you is not out of the realm. Myself and several thousand patriots, find this idea intolerable. We'll stand back to back with you over that. You can get a huge volunteer posse just by asking. If it comes to that, will you ask? YES or NO? We'll defend you, if you defend the constitution. These questions are to determine loyalty and then insure it.

Chief-Yes....Sheriff-Yes good

13. If the UN treaty is enacted by Executive Order, will you collect handguns in Mesa County? YES or NO? Chief-NO!....Sheriff-NO!good

14. If it's enacted by Congress will you collect citizen's handguns?

YES or NO? Chief-NO!....Sheriff-NO!good

16. deleted....did not apply

17. What does the TENTH amendment limit?" Chief & Sheriff both agreed

Federal Govt. correct answer.good

18. Do you believe that Federal cops "TRUMP" local cops?

YES or NO? Chief & Sheriff-NO

good

19. Have you ever been told to "stand down" during a FEDERAL operation?

Chief & Sheriff-NO

good

20. Do you think a Sheriff is the SUPREME Law enforcement in his county?Yes&Yes good

+21. Can you define the Posse Comitatis Act, and why it was passed?

Both did accurately good

22. Do you intend to enforce the U S Constitution as written?

YES or NO?

Yes, Yes good

23. Do you intend to enforce the “Colorado Constitution” as written?

YES or NO?

Yes, Yes good

24. Will you ARREST a Federal Officer who violates the Constitution?

YES or NO?

Yes, Yes Excellent

25. John Bad Elk killed an officer attempting to falsely arrest him and was exonerated by the supreme court. Their decision was that a citizen need not submit to a false arrest. Your opinion?

Both unfamiliar with the case but both knew any kind of false arrest was totally unacceptable

good

26. We see a lot of gloves being worn by officers. Some of them have reinforced hard knuckles sewn into the gloves. One can only speculate it's so you don't skin your knuckles while pounding a citizen into submission. These hard knuckle gloves seem to beg road testing. Buy a little boy a hammer and the whole world becomes a nail? I did a career as a cop without ever seeing the need for gloves. Your thoughts?

Chief & Sheriff both defended the gloves

bad

Closing

The constitution protects us against tyranny. This works only if it's enforced. Because no one has enforced the tenth amendment, we now have a central government that votes themselves pay raises while exempting themselves from the extortion that is Obamacare. They enrich themselves with insider trading that would land you and I in jail. We have heard endlessly that; No one is above the law. My experience no longer allows me to say that with a straight face. This needs to change. He wants to take over local law enforcement so he can remove the last obstacle to absolute power. This last obstacle is the guns. It's the only check and balance that has not been corrupted. Our guns and the Constitutional Sheriffs are the last hope of keeping this country from becoming a banana republic.

You both took the oath to defend the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic. Good. We'll hold you to it. I expect we'll all be tested very soon now. This will especially apply to the Sheriff. BLM is coming and so is DHS and her minions. Good luck to us all.

Gentlemen, this concludes our round table. We thank you for attending and for answering our questions and hearing our concerns. I will disseminate this information through the media to save you doing it over and over. Thanks for coming.

With three bad answers out of 25, both men scored 91% good answers. Cooperation with federal cops and their penchant for obeying unconstitutional executive orders, will be something for us all to watch. Some of the bad answers conflicted with other good answers. If I toss out the less important “glove question”, the scores jump to 96%. This is MUCH better than I expected, so over all, I'm pleased. Saying it and DOING it, are two different things. I will watch this very closely to see if the answers change when pressure is applied by the guy who says the police reacted stupidly, gives rifles to murdering drug lords and money and weapons to enemies. We're definitely living in interesting times, yes?

Mike Harlow

Here is the actual recorded audio interview

 

Wednesday
Feb252015

Undersheriff Rebecca Spiess signed off on several Senator Steve King's 2013 Time Sheets!

VetTheGov finally received former Senator Steve King's time cards from Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) after several request last year.  Now that former Senator King has plead guilty to felony embezzlement and misdemeanor misconduct, VetTheGov performed an audit of 2013 MCSO time sheets submitted and compared them to the Colorado Mesa University time sheets submitted.  See the 2013 audited time sheets here

MCSO Undersheriff Rebecca Spiess signed off on Four of Six 2013 Senator King time sheets.  These time sheets placed Senator King at both MCSO and CMU at the same exact times and in many of the overlaps were at least Five hours each of these days. The grand total of 196.5 hours at $25.00 per hour rate or $4912.50 were allowed directly by the Undersheriff or by her command staff.  How does a command staff lose track of a Senator leaving for over Five hours or simply not know that King was hanging out at CMU?  One has to wonder at the complete and utter incompetence from behind the MCSO thin green line command staff.  Yet under newly elected Fourth Amendment violator Sheriff Matt Lewis, Rebecca Spiess is still the MCSO Undersheriff!  

VetTheGov believes the Undersheriff and then Sheriff Stan Hilkey allowed the embezzlement to occur because as the Senator mentioned to the Arapahoe County District Attorney investigator during the interview the Senator has always been allowed to embezzle the taxpayers over the years!  Surely many insiders at MCSO knew this very well. VetTheGov wonders what really happened in May of 2014 that caused the Sheriff and Undersheriff to turn on the Senator and his time card madness?  Many questions will forever persist from this event along with the timing and release of the internal affairs investigation performed by Undersheriff Spiess which has never been investigated.  It also leaves open the question as to how many hours since 2007 were signed off as valid worked on duty hours with a missing in action elected representative?  Mesa County citizens can't have access to what should be the most transparent agency in the county because discretion reigns with the Sheriff and Undersheriff.

The same amount of hours 196.5 were also embezzled from CMU by super cop Senator King, who often could be in two places at the same exact times, for a grand theft total of $4170.00 additional taxpayer dollars.  However Steve King only plead to an amount noted in the Grand Junction Sentinel of $4862.00.  Based on the VetTheGov audit the total theft in the 2013-2014 time card scandal was actually $9082.50.  Who at CMU is responsible for allowing this criminal activity to persist?  Don't snoop to close as many have a very clear idea of the inner circle connections in this valley that manipulate the masses for personal gain.

VetTheGov also audited Senator King's legislative calendar for conflicts that include lunch breaks or meetings during on duty MCSO or CMU billed hours.  See the 2013 legislative audited calendar here.  Calendar time sheet shows 29 conflicted hours billed for another $657.50 of your tax dollars!

This is why Mesa County citizens have lost complete confidence in our local government officials for incidents such as these but for whatever reasons they continue forth in their day to day's with ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY!!!  VetTheGov in the very near future will push forth the placing of a Citizens Review Board as it is way overdue in Mesa Valley governments.  Thanks for reading and enjoying VetTheGov and stay tuned as more corruption coming to light in the very near future!  

Sunday
Feb012015

Broad Discretion or Rubber Stamp Corruption?

VetTheGov in previous stories laid out evidence of a corrupt politician caught up once again in ethical reporting requirements and theft of tax payer dollars.  Since VetTheGov has been involved in supplying evidence to the Arapahoe County District Attorney which led to a guilty felony plea bargain by former Senator Steve King, it is apparent the Denver District Attorney has broader powers based on the recent court dismissal of Civil Case 14CV630.

In this case of 14CV630 VetTheGov just wanted the Denver DA to perform his duties under the rule of law but is apparent now that true independent investigations are necessary when public elected officials are suspected of criminal and ethical behavior.  If there is such broad discretion given to district attorney's which allow them to play judge and jury and give very poor reasoning for not pursuing justice for the people of Colorado then WHY DO WE NEED JUDGES & JURIES?  The buck should stop at the DA's office based on the their own definition of broad discretion.  You see Senator King for years cuddled with the Justice department and brought forth multiple bills making their jobs so much easier so the leniency and wrist slap has been well received and noted. 

Based on the failure to investigate the evidence provided which again led to convictions in Mesa County this ruling ALLOWS criminal activity by those we elect and with rubber stamp appointees allowing the broad discretions by those we give power.  VetTheGov can assure you that newly appointed by Governor Hickenlooper Judge Karen Brody is very favorable to Big Nanny and the cronies associated within their club!  Needless to say for those paying attention you are screwed and don't dare try and discredit the system for it is well in tact for the CORRUPT & CORRUPTABLE!

Sunday
Nov162014

VetTheGov files Civil Action against Denver DA Morales

On November 12, 2014, VetTheGov filed a Civil action 14CV630 against Denver DA Joseph Morales under C.R.S. 16-5-209 requesting DA Morales to explain to a District Court Judge why he has refused to file charges against Senator Steve King's multiple ethics violations committed in Denver County.  

VetTheGov provided a very thorough analysis and provided detailed evidence regarding the ethics concerns by Senator Steve King.  VetTheGov initially sent a Complaint to the Denver DA's office on September 5th, 2014 and received a letter back from Chief Deputy DA Morales on September 11, 2014 requesting additional information.

VetTheGov responded back to DA Morales on September 21, 2014:

Conflict of Interest:

First point I would make here is that Senator King's contract at CMU ended December 31, 2013 and therefore the the 18 months for Statute of Limitations would extend from that point up until middle of year 2015.

Further 2013 Legislation show the following Yes votes that favored higher education in which once again no recusal from Senator King regarding the conflict of interest vote.  The Legislative Audit committee Senator King was appointed to in sessions 2013 and 2014 placed him in a position of regulatory authority over CMU violating CRS 24.18.108 which states below the proof needed for Breach.  

(1) Proof beyond a reasonable doubt of commission of any act enumerated in this section is proof that the actor has breached his fiduciary duty.

(2) A public officer or a state employee shall not:

(a) Engage in a substantial financial transaction for his private business purposes with a person whom he inspects, regulates, or supervises in the course of his official duties;

(b) Assist any person for a fee or other compensation in obtaining any contract, claim, license, or other economic benefit from his agency;

(c) Assist any person for a contingent fee in obtaining any contract, claim, license, or other economic benefit from any state agency; or

(d) Perform an official act directly and substantially affecting to its economic benefit a business or other undertaking in which he either has a substantial financial interest or is engaged as counsel, consultant, representative, or agent.

(3) A head of a principal department or a member of a quasi-judicial or rule-making agency may perform an official act notwithstanding paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of this section if his participation is necessary to the administration of a statute and if he complies with the voluntary disclosure procedures under section 24-18-110.


The bills are as follows:  SB13-199 which directly impacted CMU's ability to borrow more under the States umbrella.  I have already supplied the 2013 additional Bond debt CMU established after this vote.  From the Fiscal impact notes on the bill State Expenditures:

Pursuant to the new credit and coverage test, one institution of higher education, Colorado Mesa University (CMU), will be newly eligible to borrow under the intercept program. CMU has indicated that upon passage of Senate Bill 13-199, it will refinance existing debt to realize up to $600,000 in cost savings. Other institutions of higher education indicate that the new credit and coverage test may decrease the cost of future planned debt.

SB13-033 again allows higher education facilities increased revenue in which CMU is one of these.  From the fiscal impact notes:

Increase in higher education tuition revenue. This bill will increase revenue from tuition by about $2.0 million in FY 2013-14 and by about $3.0 million in FY 2014-15. Revenue from tuition is collected and spent by the governing bodies of the state institutions, and is not appropriated by the General Assembly in the Long Bill. Due to enterprise status, this revenue is not counted against state revenue limitations in the Colorado Constitution. 

Since the statute of limitations extend into 2015 all 2014 bills Senator King voted on or sponsored would still fall under the conflict of interest violations regarding CMU contract.  They are as follows:

HB14-1249 Senator King voted Yes in which CMU received $21,264,974.00 in capital improvement funding.

HB14-1336 Senator King voted Yes to all appropriations that would fund Colorado higher education including all monies to CMU.

Finally Senator King directly benefited personally by voting on state funding opportunities for CMU by being paid from these funds but the statute clearly states all that is needed is he benefited and CMU benefited with substantial financial gain.  The beyond reasonable doubt can be attributed to the fact that Senator King decided to hide this income on his required annual disclosures because it couldn't pass the Smell Test mentioned in attached Conflict of Interest opinion by the Colorado Independent Ethics Committee 11-11 regarding appearance of Impropriety.  Senator King not only failed to disclose on his annual required disclosure but failed to disclose in all his committee assignments and on actual legislative voting.  If Senator King would have sent a letter or email to the Independent Ethics Commission asking for clarification on his additional state and local contracts then he might possibly have a defense.  However Senator King never requested such a response and again never disclosed.  If this type of behavior is allowed with no charges filed then it opens the door to much more unethical behavior now and in the future and quite simply any other elected or state employee could use their positions for personal gain by contracting without disclosure with any other state or local government agencies with zero accountability.

CMU & MCSO Contracts:

Senator King as mentioned under conflict of interest paragraph above notes that he was also on the Judicial Committee that directly voted on legislative efforts kind towards the judicial and law enforcement communities which places Senator King once again in a position of regulatory position over the judicial agencies such as the DA's office in which Mesa County DA Pete Hautzinger attended with the Senator.  

One specific bill directly supported by Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey was SB13-013 in which Senator King was the Main sponsor of the bill.  See attached letter from Sheriff Stan Hilkey.  This was a very broad bill that brought much controversy from the citizenry regarding special powers given to federal agencies.  This shows Senator King not acting on behalf of the People of Colorado's interest but in turn for those only with a badge.  If you need any legislative or committee votes regarding MCSO there are plenty.

Senator King also was appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he directly voted on numerous bills that benefited MCSO and the Judiciary Branch in general.  Senator King again did not recuse himself in any votes that directly benefited MCSO especially when voting on the Long Bills HB14-1336 that would finance those departments and in turn finance his contracted positions.  I would also like to bring to the attention that during Senator King's temporary appointments at MCSO the department had significant budget cuts and layoffs yet Senator King was always able to get a contract and bill hours against the public general fund which in turn resulted in three felony charges and two misdemeanor charges by DA Hurlbert since all other local agencies actually recused themselves due to conflict of interest relationships with the Senator.  How ironic.

Venue:
This was only used as an example and I believe Senator King is facing charges regarding this and other similar events of appearing in multiple places at the same time in many different venues.  I would again refer to comments under conflict of interest and contracts above.

Statute of Limitations CRS 16-5-401:

I would argue the CMU contract ended December 31, 2013 and the January 10, 2014 disclosure attached was just another opportunity for Senator King to disclose the income received from CMU since its states on the form Income Change but the box was not marked.  Otherwise the 2013 Contract began on July 2013 in which per CRS 24-6-202(3) & (4) shows an amended disclosure would be required for this new income contract therefore the Statute of Limitations for the 2013 CMU contract would be either from July 2013 and 18 months forward or December 31, 2013 and 18 months forward. Would agree some of the Title 24 misdemeanor violations are not within the statute of limitations however they prove history that these events are just a recent mistake but an obvious failure to disclose due to the ethical smell test created in Title 24 Statutes.

I would like to request more investigation into the internal mechanisms within our local agencies as what appears special favors for local elite players in Mesa County.  If you are unable to perform would you please offer a place to go since it has become public knowledge that our local government is unable to hold itself accountable.

Thanks for time and attention and I look forward to your responses! 
DA Morales sent a letter stating that he believed he could not file any charges not for the fact they occurred but supposedly the Statute of Limitations were expired.  VetTheGov sent the email below after receiving the reasoning from DA Morales:
Mr. Morales,

I appreciate your reviewing the information I sent regarding Senator Steve King.  I am disappointed to learn of your responses of no intent to prosecute and the language used in which no further action will be taken.  I respectfully disagree with your opinions and offer the following responses as to why:

Regarding the Conflict of Interest and Breach of Fiduciary Duty it is my belief you may want to revisit.  Senator King would of had an easy defense if he just simply disclosed the conflict and appearance of a conflict of interest.  However he has never disclosed this information and in fact he never disclosed to CMU that he held a position with Mesa County Sheriff's Office.  In revisiting the violation of C.R.S. 18-8-308 the statute is written that states OR OTHER PECUNIARY INTEREST.  If the statute stated AND then I would agree with your analysis.  However I have researched some very recent case law regarding Conflict of Interest and have provided a very strong 2013 Colorado Supreme Court analysis here in Ruiz v Hope for Children, Inc.
  http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8975&courtid=1

IV. The Conflict of Interest Defense

¶13      Ruiz asserts that Hope for Children could not rely on the “conflict of interest” defense because there is no record evidence that Ruiz was “profiting at the expense of [Hope for Children] by dating Rodriguez.” We do not agree that the conflict of interest defense in the Lawful Activities Statute is limited to financial conflicts of interest.

¶14      Nothing in the plain language of section 24-34-402.5(1)(b) limits actual or apparent conflicts of interest for which an employee may be terminated to financial conflicts of interest. Had the legislature intended to limit the defense to financial conflicts, it would have done so. In re Marriage of Hartley, 886 P.2d 665, 673 (Colo. 1994) (if the legislature intended statute to include a certain provision, it would have included it in the statute); Adams v. Corr. Corp., 187 P.3d 1190, 1193 (Colo. App. 2008) (“[I]t is presumed that the General Assembly meant what it clearly said.”). Indeed, a review of Colorado statutes reveals that where the legislature intended to limit the meaning of an actual or apparent conflict of interest to those situations involving financial gain, it did so. See, e.g., § 18-8-308 (2), C.R.S. 2012 (limiting “potential conflicting interest” to situations in which a public servant, among other things, owns or controls a substantial interest in any nongovernmental entity participating in a pecuniary transaction with which the public servant is connected); § 24-35-209(1)(a), C.R.S. 2012 (specifying that it is a conflict of interest for a member of the state lottery division to have “any personal pecuniary interest in any lottery or in the sale of any lottery tickets”). Because the legislature chose not to limit conflicts of interest in the Lawful Activities Statute to financial conflicts, we will not judicially engraft such a limit. See People v. Jaramillo, 183 P.3d 665, 671 (Colo. App. 2008) (courts must respect the General Assembly’s choice of language, and cannot add words to or subtract them from a statute); see also Scoggins v. Unigard Ins. Co., 869 P.2d 202, 205 (Colo. 1994) (“We will not judicially legislate by reading a statute to accomplish something the plain language does not suggest, warrant or mandate.”).

¶15      Nor are we persuaded by Ruiz’s reliance on Marsh v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1458 (D. Colo. 1997). Marsh involved the firing of a Delta Air Lines baggage handler after he wrote a letter to the Denver Post criticizing his employer. 952 F. Supp. at 1460. The Marsh court noted that Delta was not justified in terminating the employee under the conflict of interest defense in the Lawful Activities Statute. Id. at 1464.1In so concluding, that court found, with little analysis, that the employee “was not disregarding his duties in favor of personal gain by writing the Post,” and that, therefore, “under the generally understood meaning of the term, [the employee] did not have any conflict of interest when writing to the Post.” Id. To the extent Marsh can be read for the proposition that the conflict of interest defense is limited to financial conflicts of interest, we do not agree that such an interpretation is consistent with the plain language of the statute. Further, we are not bound by a federal district court’s interpretation of Colorado law. See People v. Barber, 799 P.2d 936, 940 (Colo. 1990); see also Watson, 207 P.3d at 865 (“No Colorado appellate opinion has approved the Marshcourt’s analysis.”).

¶16      Similarly, we do not read Marsh as establishing the alternative requirement, suggested by Ruiz, that Hope for Children needed to prove that dating Rodriguez actually interfered with Ruiz’s ability to perform a job-related duty. Again, the plain language of section 24- 34-402.5(1)(b) does not contain any requirement that a conflict of interest actually interfere with an employee’s ability to perform her job. To the contrary, the conflict of interest defense expressly contemplates that an employer may restrict an employee’s lawful, off-the-job activities not only where an actual conflict of interest exists, but also where there is an appearance of such a conflict. § 24-34-402.5(1)(b). Were we to adopt Ruiz’s construction, and read the statute to require an employer to establish that a conflict actually interferes with an employee’s job, it would render the phrase “the appearance of such a conflict of interest” meaningless. This we will not do. See Well Augmentation Subdistrict, 221 P.3d at 420 (court will not construe a statute in a manner that renders statutory language meaningless).

¶17      Finally, to the extent that Ruiz argues that Hope for Children was required to consider a less drastic alternative to termination, the plain language of the statute does not require the employer to do so. We will not impose requirements where the legislature did not. Turbyne v. People, 151 P.3d 563, 567 (Colo. 2007) (“We do not add words to [a] statute or subtract words from it.”).

¶18      Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court did not err in declining to adopt Ruiz’s narrow interpretation of the conflict of interest defense.

V. Sufficiency of the Evidence to Establish a Conflict of Interest
or the Appearance of a Conflict of Interest

¶19      Having rejected Ruiz’s invitation to limit the conflict of interest defense to financial or actual conflicts, we next consider whether the evidence supports the trial court’s order in favor of Hope for Children. We conclude that there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s conclusion that Ruiz’s romantic relationship with a client, or former client, of Hope for Children created, at a minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Thus, we decline to disturb the trial court’s determination that Hope for Children did not wrongfully terminate Ruiz.

A. Standard of Review

¶20      When the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged on appeal, we must determine whether the evidence, viewed as a whole and in the light most favorable to the prevailing party, is sufficient to support the verdict. Parr v. Triple L & J Corp., 107 P.3d 1104, 1106 (Colo. App. 2004). In conducting our review, we draw every reasonable inference from the evidence in favor of the prevailing party. Harris Grp., Inc. v. Robinson, 209 P.3d 1188, 1201 (Colo. App. 2009).

B. Analysis

¶21      The Lawful Activities Statute does not define “conflict of interest” or the “appearance” of such a conflict. And given that the existence of a conflict, or the appearance of a conflict, is almost entirely dependent on context, determinations grounded on this legal basis must turn on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. This determination, then, is both context and industry specific. See City of Manassa v. Ruff, 235 P.3d 1051, 1055 (Colo. 2010) (term “conflict of interest” reflects various policy determinations, depending on the context in which it operates); Schupper v. People, 157 P.3d 516, 520 (Colo. 2007) (whether a relationship creates the appearance of a conflict of interest is a factual question that must be made on a case-by-case basis). The existence of a conflict, or the appearance of a conflict, is uniquely within the province of the fact finder. Benuishis v. Indus. Claim Appeals Office, 195 P.3d 1142, 1144 (Colo. App. 2008) (“Whether a conflict of interest exists is a question of fact.”); see also People v. Cnty. Court, 854 P.2d 1341 (Colo. App. 1992) (whether an appearance of impropriety exists is committed to the trial court’s discretion, and turns on the circumstances of each particular case).

¶22      The trial court concluded that the fact that Ruiz “may be required to testify in court regarding whether or not a client or former client . . . completed treatment” raised, at a minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest with Ruiz’s job responsibilities. The court also concluded that the romantic relationship between Ruiz and Rodriguez created the appearance of a conflict of interest to third-party organizations from which Hope for Children received its funding, client referrals, and contracts. Specifically, the court found that the dating relationship had the potential to damage “the image and reputation of [Hope for Children]” by causing third parties to lose confidence in the reliability and professionalism of the organization, and that, in turn, could “endanger the grants that fund” Hope for Children.

¶23      Viewed as a whole and in the light most favorable to Hope for Children, the evidence is sufficient to support the trial court’s conclusions that Ruiz’s relationship with Rodriguez created an appearance of a conflict of interest with her job responsibilities. See Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 103 (2002) (“appearance” means the “outward show or image presented by a person or thing”); cf. People v. Schupper, 124 P.3d 856, 858 (Colo. App. 2005) (in judicial disqualification context, test for “appearance” of partiality is whether a reasonable person, knowing all the relevant facts, would harbor doubts about a judge’s impartiality), aff’d, 157 P.3d 516. In particular, the evidence established the following:

  • One of Ruiz’s job responsibilities at Hope for Children was testifying concerning the completion of court-ordered treatment by clients or former clients;
  • Rodriguez was court-ordered to attend a fatherhood class and did so through Hope for Children;
  • Ruiz and Rodriguez met while he was receiving services at Hope for Children, and Ruiz was expressly asked to assist Rodriguez in enrolling in a parenting skills class;
  • Because Rodriguez was court-ordered to attend a fatherhood class, if an issue arose regarding his compliance with the order, Ruiz, as the only Family Advocate, would have been required to verify (and potentially testify about) his participation and completion of the program;
  • Although Ruiz testified that she viewed Rodriguez as a former client of Hope for Children when she began dating him, Kammeier testified that Hope for Children does not “close” its files and has worked with some families intermittently for up to eight years, and that clients might “be gone for a few months and then they’re back”;
  • Similarly, the Executive Director of the Tenth Judicial District’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) testified that, in the social services field, many people express the view that “once a client, always a client”;
  • Kammeier further testified that 85 to 87% of Hope for Children’s budget comes from a federal grant to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). And she testified that, because Hope for Children receives many of its client referrals as a result of contracts with CDHS and Community Corrections, a policy permitting employees to date clients would negatively impact Hope for Children’s relationship and reputation with those organizations, resulting in a loss of clients and funding;
  • The former director of Social Services for Pueblo County, and a board member of Hope for Children, testified that a dating relationship between a social services organization employee and client or former client creates a conflict of interest in the form of an appearance of impropriety, “where the credibility of the agency to provide proper services” is negatively impacted;
  • And the executive director of CASA testified that a social services organization’s funding might be subject to revocation if it allowed its employees to date clients.

¶24      Given this testimony and the nature of the social services field, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the trial court’s conclusion that the restriction on the dating relationship between Ruiz and Rodriguez was necessary to avoid, at a minimum, the appearance of a conflict of interest with Ruiz’s responsibilities to her employer. See Restatement (Second) of Agency § 380 cmt. a (1958) (“The nature of the business and the position of the agent determine . . . what conduct can be expected from [the agent].”).

¶25      Because we conclude that the court did not err in determining that Hope for Children met its burden under section 24-34- 402.5(1)(b), we need not address the remaining statutory defenses relied upon by the trial court. Rush Creek Solutions, Inc. v. Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, 107 P.3d 402, 406 (Colo. App. 2004) (“[W]e may affirm the trial court’s ruling based on any grounds that are supported by the record.”).2

As you read through the Case Law you notice the smell test once again is being used the appearance of a conflict or what a Reasonable Person would conclude.  Well I am a Reasonable Person and I conclude that Senator King was given opportunities at CMU and MCSO for the sole purpose of rewarding his efforts in the Colorado Legislative position that benefited all parties mentioned and not the citizens of the District he represented.  Thus Senator King violated and abused the Public Trust C.R.S. 24-18-103 appointed to him by the People!  Senator King either was 100% the owner of his private company either by his personal name or under American National Protective Services named as it's President & CEO.

I also located a conflict of interest manual from a state university and can visit it here.  As you can see there are options that can be taken so that Senator King's appearance of a conflict of interest could easily be avoided if he simply disclosed the contracts at CMU and vice versa CMU disclosing the fact they hired a sitting State Senator.   In Senator King's case neither party disclosed the relationship as required by law!
  http://www.facultycouncil.colostate.edu/files/manual/sectiond.htm#D.7.7.3

Here is CMU's Employee & Contracted personnel manual regarding Outside Employment:  http://www.coloradomesa.edu/hr/documents/CMU-PPEH-AllSections.pdf

3. Rules for Outside Employment. Professional Employees who engage in outside employment must abide by the following rules. Failure to do so may result in discipline or termination. Outside employment shall: 

a. Not interfere with the efficient performance of the employee's job; 

b. Not actually or apparently conflict with the interests of the University or the State of Colorado. "Apparently" conflict means that the employment would reasonably give rise to criticism or suspicion of conflicting interests or duties; 

c. Not conflict with the Code of Ethics for Public Employees, CRS 24-18-101 et. seq., as amended from time to time, and other statutes and regulations governing the conduct of public employees. 

d. Be in addition to, rather than part of, the normal time and effort expected of members of Faculty and Exempt employees in that Professional Personnel position. 

e. Not involve use of University resources, facilities, or property without prior written approval by the President regarding the specific exceptions requested to this rule. 

I have attached the the 2010, 2011, & 2012 disclosures that were simply marked Annual Update-No Change.  I also disagree with your viewpoint that the disclosure of the Conflict of Interest 2013 contract at CMU is invalid due to statute of limitations.  Following that logic Senator King would have to have known January 10, 2013 that he would have a July 2013 contract with CMU.  That is why under C.R.S. 24-6-202 (3) gives Senator King 30 days to disclose the July 2013-December 31, 2013 CMU contract.  Again C.R.S. 18-8-308 only allows a 72-hour window after the other pecuniary transaction began in July 2013.  

I provided several legislative votes during Senator King's entire contracted positions with MCSO and CMU in which those parties benefited and Senator King benefited.  Once again using the Appearance smell test provided in Ruiz v Hope for Children, Inc. and the fact once again no disclosures ever given by Senator King or CMU, the appearance and conclusion a reasonable person would find themselves at is that this was a favorable position given to a Colorado Legislator for favorable votes.  Even if these votes came before or after Senator King still held a position over both the MCSO and CMU by holding valuable positions in the Legislative Audit and Judiciary committees.  If Senator King disclosed his relationships under Colorado Constitution and Senate Rule 41 he would recused his votes for all stated parties he was associated with under private contract.

Here is the role and function of the Legislative Audit Committee:


8. What is the Legislative Audit Committee and its role in the audit process?

The Legislative Audit Committee plays a vital role in the overall audit process, including having the statutory authority to conduct public hearings on OSA reports and subpoena witnesses and records. The Legislative Audit Committee must vote to release an audit before it becomes publicly available. The Committee is not, however, involved in the day-to-day conduct of audits or in the development of audit conclusions or findings. 

The Legislative Audit Committee is a legislative oversight committee made up of four senators and four representatives. The Legislative Audit Committee is uniquely positioned to ensure accountability of state agencies’ activities and of the efficient and effective expenditure of public funds. As set forth in the Colorado Constitution and state statutes, the State Auditor ensures accountability by conducting audits that provide an independent, objective assessment of government operations, report on the use of taxpayer monies, and recommend improvements. The Legislative Audit Committee ensures accountability by reviewing the audit reports prepared by the State Auditor, releasing the reports to the public, questioning the audited agency in a public forum about the report findings and recommendations, and discussing the actions the agency plans to take to improve its operations. 

In addition to releasing audit reports and questioning audited agencies, the Committee examines and nominates a qualified candidate for State Auditor; approves the OSA’s budget; communicates significant audit report findings and recommendations to the General Assembly, the Governor, and other officials when necessary; and votes whether to approve audit requests submitted by members of the General Assembly or the Governor. To ensure agencies cooperate with the audit process, the Legislative Audit Committee also has the power to subpoena witnesses and records and take testimony under oath.

Here is his role and function on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The Senate Judiciary Committee considers matters concerning civil and criminal proceedings, courts, judges, civil liberties, Colorado's constitution and statutes, the state's correctional system and prison facilities, homeland security, and juvenile justice.  In addition, the committee has legislative oversight responsibility for the Department of Corrections, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Law, and the Judicial Branch.


Mr. Morales your letter didn't stipulate if a crime was or was not committed, it only stated that you played judge and jury and I find no where in C.R.S. 20 that allows you this opportunity.  Under C.R.S. 20 and Rule 3.8 Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor, you do have the ability to bring said charges before a Grand Jury and let them decide if charges should be or not be filed.  The requirement is Probable Cause and not as a Judge and Jury.  I understand there may be more important cases you deem more appropriate to pursue but in the opinion of myself and the citizens of Mesa County Colorado that have openly stated they want an investigation into the CMU and Senator King relationship. You must act on the information provided and if necessary investigate it further through subpoena and in direct contact with CMU administration.  Otherwise what your office is implying is that it is absolutely valid to break laws and use positions of authority in elected office for personal gain and that once elected to a position of Power you can behave as a Lobbyist and get paid by other private or public organizations without disclosing these incomes.  I would argue emphatically C.R.S. 24-18-103 and the entire Code of Ethics enacted by the Colorado Legislative body denies this behavior by a public elected official. 

Senate Rule 41 also gives further clarification:

41. ETHICS

(a) Definitions. As used in this rule, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Close economic associate" or "close economic association" means the Senator's employer, client, employee, or partner or associate in business or professional activities; enterprises of which a Senator is a director or officer; corporations in which a Senator owns more than ten percent of the outstanding capital stock; an enterprise which is his significant unsecured creditor or of which he is a significant creditor; or a trust of which he is a beneficiary. It does not mean a bank or savings and loan association in which his interest is in the form of an account; nor an officership, directorship, or employment in a political, religious, charitable, or educational entity which returns compensation to him of less than one thousand dollars per year. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(2) "Close relative" means the spouse of the Senator and the following natural, adoptive, and adopted members of the Senator's family and the family of his spouse: mother, father, children, brothers, and sisters. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(3) "Enterprise" means corporation, partnership, proprietorship, association, or other legal entity (other than an estate or trust) engaged in business for profit. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(4) "Lobbyist" means any person defined as such in the Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47; 1988, SR 10, SJ, p. 1348)

(5) "Person" and "another" means an individual, partnership, association, corporation, or other legal entity. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(6) "State agency" means every department, commission, board, division, office, council, or other agency created as part of the state government pursuant to law and supported by state moneys. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(b) Conflicts of interest personal or private interests versus public interest definition. (1) Subject to article V, section 43, of the state constitution, a Senator has the right to vote upon all questions before the Senate and to participate in the business of the Senate and its committees, and, in so doing, he is presumed to act in good faith and in the public interest. When a Senator's personal interest conflicts with the public interest and tends to affect his independence of judgment, his legislative activities are subject to limitations. Where any such conflict exists, it disqualifies him from voting upon any question and from attempting to influence any legislation to which it relates. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(2) A question arises as to whether a personal or private interest tends to affect a Senator's independence of judgment if the Senator: (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(A) Has or acquires a substantial economic interest by reason of his personal situation, distinct from that held generally by members of his occupation, profession, or business, in a measure proposed or pending before the General Assembly; or has a close relative or close economic associate with such an interest. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(B) Has or acquires a financial interest in an enterprise, direct or indirect, which enterprise or interest would be affected by proposed legislation differently from like enterprises.(1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(C) Has or acquires a close economic association with, or is a close relative of, a person who has a financial interest in an enterprise, direct or indirect, which enterprise or interest would be affected by proposed legislation differently from like enterprises. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(D) Has or acquires a close economic association with, or is a close relative of, a person who is a lobbyist or who employs or has employed a lobbyist to propose legislation or to influence proposed legislation on which the Senator has or may be expected to vote. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(E) Accepts a gift, loan, service, or economic opportunity of significant value from a person who would be affected by or who has an interest in an enterprise which would be affected by proposed legislation. This provision shall likewise apply where such gift, loan, service, or opportunity is accepted by a close relative of the Senator. It shall not normally apply in the following cases: A commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business by an institution authorized by the laws of this state to engage in the business of making loans; an occasional nonpecuniary gift, insignificant in value; a nonpecuniary award publicly presented by a nonprofit organization in recognition of public service; or payment of or reimbursement for actual and necessary expenditures for travel and subsistence for a Senator's personal attendance at a convention or other meeting at which he is scheduled to participate and for which attendance no reimbursement is made by the state of Colorado. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(c) Undue influence definition. (1) A Senator, by reason of his office, is or may be in a position to bring undue influence on other legislators, public officials, or private persons. To use this potential for economic or private gain is an abuse of office and a matter of concern to the Senate, whether or not the act is also punishable under the criminal laws. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(2) The following limitations shall apply to legislative conduct and violations are declared to constitute undue influence: (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(A) A Senator shall not use his public position, intentionally or otherwise, to obtain or attempt to obtain any confidential information or special advantage for himself, a close relative, or a close economic associate. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(B) A Senator shall not sell goods or services to a state agency in a transaction not governed by the laws relating to public purchasing by competitive bidding, or intercede for or represent another in so doing; nor shall he in any way be interested in any contract to furnish supplies, printing, repairs, or furnishings to the General Assembly or any other state agency, contrary to section 29 of article V of the state constitution. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(C) A Senator shall not solicit, receive, offer, or give any bribe, contrary to the state constitution and the provisions of sections 18-8-302 to 18-8-308, 18-8-401, 18-8-402, 18-8-404, 18-8-405, and 18-8-407, C.R.S. 1973; nor shall he accept or give any compensation, gratuity, or reimbursement for voting upon any question or for attempting to influence legislation. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(D) A Senator shall not give or offer to give his vote in consideration of the vote of another member, contrary to the provisions of section 40 of article V of the state constitution.(1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(E) A Senator shall not attempt to influence any public official by deceit or threat, contrary to section 7 of article XII of the state constitution and section 18-8-306, C.R.S. 1973.(1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(d) When Senator permitted to vote. Nothing in this rule shall be construed as prohibiting a Senator from voting for a bill or other measure whose passage would adversely affect his personal or private interest or from voting against a bill or other measure whose defeat would adversely affect his personal or private interest; and nothing in this rule shall be construed to prevent a Senator from voting on the report of the committee of the whole, unless such vote is conducted solely on the bill or measure in which he has a personal or private interest. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(e) Applicability of rule. The provisions of this rule shall not apply as the basis for the recall of any measure by either house nor otherwise constitute the basis to contest the validity of any legislative action on any bill or other measure on which a vote was cast by any member of the Senate in violation of this rule. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47)

(f) Legislators not to request donations to charitable organizations. A legislator shall not request a lobbyist or an employee of the General Assembly to make donations to any type of charitable organization. (1973, SR 2, SJ, p. 47; 1988, SR 10, SJ, p. 1348)

You also state that the statute of limitations no longer allows charging of the disclosures however I would ask you kindly revisit as there is error in the dates you are suggesting specifically the 2013 and 2014 disclosures where Senator King never disclosed the CMU contracts with either the 30 days to amend or the 72-hour rule.  

My intent here if no charges are going to be filed by your office is to petition under C.R.S. 16-5-209 and ask for a Judge's ruling on why no charges are coming forth regarding Senator Steve King.

Thanks for your time and attention,


 
VetTheGov received an email from the DA's office on October 13, 2014 stating DA Morales position remains unchanged. This would entail that DA Morales believes that Senator Steve King would had to have known in January 10, 2013 that he would had the foreknowledge of his CMU employment in July 2013.  

Why did Senate Leaders at the Capitol taken no action?  Why has the Colorado Independent Ethics Board taken no action?  Why has the Denver DA taken no action?  Should there even be an ethics section in the Colorado Revised Statutes if this is how it plays out?  How about in the Colorado Constitution?  Are these ethics statutes there so our Public officials can just ignore them?  The People deserve to know why our Justice system and appointed leaders looked the other way in this case of misdeeds by Senator Steve King!  Those that create the laws must also abide by those laws!  VetTheGov will keep you informed of future communications between the District Court in Denver.  Thanks for tuning in!
Tuesday
Sep232014

Sgt. Matt Lewis 4th Amendment Update-Mesa County pays over $71K in Attorney's fees

VetTheGov finally received back its CORA request regarding specific documentation of the previous questions asked regarding Sgt. Matt Lewis response to a local reporter on the 4th Amendment Civil Lawsuit.

VetTheGov has been told by Mesa County officials that no Confidentiality agreement is on file or been completed by Mesa County on Sgt. Lewis' behalf. See Letter. This would mean that Sgt. Lewis misrepresented in his interview comment.  

VetTheGov was told by Mesa County officials that no Settlement amount was paid by the County. This would mean another misrepresented comment by Sgt. Matt Lewis and the fact that he could be in violation of the "unable to locate" Mesa County Confidentiality Agreement he mentioned in his interview.

Ironically Mesa County taxpayers did cover the involved deputies attorney bills paid to Alan Hassler in the amount of $71,297.32.  

So the question becomes WHO PAID THE SETTLEMENT? Sgt. Matt Lewis has publicly stated the County paid and the County is continuing to say they didn't. Surely since the deputies didn't pay for attorney's fees then they didn't pay the Settlement out of their own pockets either. If an Insurance Company for Mesa County paid the Settlement, then wouldn't that still be considered Public Knowledge since the Taxpayers pay these premiums as well?

Surely if an Insurance Payout happened then Mesa County taxpayers can rest assured these Premiums have been raised. Stay Tuned as the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Settlement roller coaster is just beginning with the big turns and upside down flips! 

Monday
Sep222014

VetTheGov Rescinding Comment and Public Apology regarding Wayne Weyler

VetTheGov in a previous story mentioned in a brief sentence regarding then Lt. Wayne Weyler had a Brady letter.  VetTheGov received this information from Christopher Durham who received the information from a supposed reliable source Chris Franz, former professional standards deputy from Mesa County.  After receiving some comments on VetTheGov a call was made to once again confirm the information as fact.  The conversation suddenly became a statement that it was apparently miscommunication from the so called 100% reliable source. 

VetTheGov prides itself on relaying factual information and now after receiving confirmation from not only a CORA request to Mesa County but also an email confirmation from the Mesa County District Attorney's Office, VetTheGov publicly rescinds the comment regarding a Brady letter in Wayne Weyler's personnel file and makes a public apology to Wayne Weyler.  Wayne Weyler had no Brady letters on file nor has the DA's Office ever seen a Brady letter come across their desk related to Wayne Weyler.

VetTheGov is also publicly announcing it endorses No candidate for Mesa County Sheriff and is not actively involved or participating in any candidates campaign! 

VetTheGov will continue to strive for local government transparency especially regarding the 4th Amendment violation written about in earlier stories.  This behavior must be stopped and rights of individual human beings should never be violated even in the worse of circumstances.

Sunday
Sep212014

Someone Lying in Mesa County Government over 4th Amendment Settlement.

Mesa County citizens it is becoming increasingly troubling when your supposed transparent county government can't and won't keep itself accountable.  Since the VetTheGov story hit regarding Mesa County Sheriff candidate Sgt. Matt Lewis and the settlement of a 4th Amendment violation, illegal arrest, and excessive force civil lawsuit, fingers are pointing and the cover up continues with one or both parties LYING.

On August 14th, 2014 VetTheGov requested via CORA the settlement amount regarding Travis Brickey civil lawsuit settlement with Mesa County via its contracted attorney Alan Hassler regarding Case # 11-cv-2175.  On August 18th, 2014 a letter in response to the CORA request by Mesa County Asst. Attorney Angela Barnes stated that there are no documents responsive to the request and that Mesa County was not a party to the case even though five Mesa County deputies were named in the suit and a contracted county attorney represented the Mesa County deputies on the case.  On face value there is already a conflict of interest if Mesa County was not named in the suit and the deputies used a Mesa County contracted attorney.  See Colorado Bar Rule 1.7.

Since the CORA  request, Sgt. Matt Lewis responded to the media regarding the civil case in which he stated he was bound by a confidentiality letter placed on his behalf by Mesa County and that the County decided to settle an undisclosed amount to Travis Brickey.  It was also learned that the attorney for Travis Brickey confirmed Mesa County in fact did settle and could not disclose the amount.  After Sgt. Matt Lewis confidentiality agreement BREACH of discussing the case with local reporter Jesse Nelson representing West Slope Watchdog, VetTheGov initiated another CORA request on September 8th, 2014 to Mesa County Asst. Attorney Angela Barnes in which all County Commissioners were copied and included the audio interview with Sgt. Lewis and requested the following:

  • The Settlement amount?
  • If the County indeed filed a Confidentiality Agreement on behalf of Sgt. Matt Lewis
  • If Mesa County hired Alan Hassler for the named defendants and if not wouldn't this hiring be a conflict of interest?
  • If Alan Hassler was hired by the County, what was the County billed for his services?

VetTheGov received a letter dated September 8th, 2014 that reads as follows and VetTheGov must add NO RESPONSE from any elected County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca, Rose Pugliese, or John Justman:

"The Colorado Open Records Act (C.R.S. 24-72-200.1, et seq.) governs how governmental agencies in Colorado are to comply with citizen request for information.  The "CORA" contemplates, and only contemplates, records.  it is a detailed act governing record release circumstances.  If you are seeking records, your email letter does not set forth those that you are seeking."

What gets interesting is that an attached document to the letter shows an email from Commissioner Steve Acquafresca on September 8th, 2014 referring to an earlier conversation with Tom Fisher Mesa County Administrator that states:

"Tom - this is exactly what we were talking about this morning.  Please assist Angela with her response. SA"

The County Commissioners cannot play dumb now since that Commissioner Aquafresca copied in the other two Commissioners in his email to Tom.  They are all privy to the issue and let's see who will rise above partisan politics in order to demand complete transparency with OUR government.  If the Commissioners play safe then we must demand a complete investigation into our entire local government and then it's time for them all to go!

The dilemma now set forth is that either the County is LYING that they were involved in such settlement with Travis Brickey or Sgt. Matt Lewis in his professional position as a deputy sheriff for Mesa County is LYING.  Whoever is found to be UNTRUTHFUL you can rest assured VetTheGov will demand resolution and termination. 

VetTheGov has since sent another CORA request on September 15th, 2014 requesting the following and no response yet received:

  • Sgt. Matt Lewis signed confidentiality agreement by Mesa County regarding his civil case settlement involving Travis Brickey and Mesa County provided council Alan Hassler.
  • Contract and payments between Mesa County and Alan Hassler for representing Sgt. Matt Lewis regarding Travis Brickey 4th Amendment excessive force civil case.
  • Total Mesa County settlement amount paid to Travis Brickey in the form of check or money transfer receipt.

It will be interesting as events unfold and information released of who actually paid the settlement along with the amount and who is LYING to Mesa County citizens.  Either way it puts a Sheriff Candidate in the hot seat as an out of control COST to County taxpayers willing to LIE for the position or it exposes a County government that is unwilling to be open and transparent with its tax paying citizens by hiding the Truth for the sake of partisan politics right before your very eyes.  Who will step up and be the light of TRUTH?  Stay tuned...

Saturday
Sep062014

Video Release of Sgt. Matt Lewis and Mesa County Sheriff's Office 4th Amendment Violation

In a previous story exposing the Illegal arrest and Neck tasing of victim Travis Brickey, VetTheGov laid the foundation for the videos you will now watch in horror.  In the two videos (Warning Explicit Language) you will watch the Mesa County Sheriff's Office deputies attempt to coerce the victim out of his house in order to search inside for a man named Donny.  You will hear the deputies get so fixated on a gun while the victim states multiple times he doesn't own or even know how to shoot one.  You will also hear the deputies state multiple times that they weren't even sure why they were there and the victim stating he was afraid of them because all their guns were pointed at him.

The videos show Lt. Wayne Weyler unafraid of a gun and both his hands exposed to the victim with no gun drawn and is standing directly in front of the victims door, which is a very poor tactical position for a man reported with a gun.  Multiple times Lt. Weyler tells the victim he doesn't even know why they are there but just trying to figure out why.  You can tell the game plan all along was to get the victim to the door and allow the takedown taser team to move in and zap the victim in the neck.  Once the takedown team tased the victim they quickly entered the home like a SWAT team performing a dynamic search of the residence while you can hear all along they were looking for a man named Donny inside.  They had to know at this point that the victim was not their intended target especially with all the communication to the victim they were just trying to figure this out. 

In the second part 2 video you will hear the deputies actually try to keep the victim agitated after tasing him by telling him they have to take him to the hospital to remove the taser probe from his neck because they were unable to remove it and telling the victim its another bill for him.  Unbelieveable! 

An interesting development has arisen which needs more explaining by Mesa County Attorney's Office.  In a recent CORA request to the County Attorney regarding this case, the response on Mesa County Attorney's Office letterhead states,  "Mesa County was not a party to this case.  Mesa County has no documents responsive to your request."  In a recent interview by Western Slope Watchdog reporter Jesse Nelson with Sgt. Matt Lewis regarding this Constitutional violation, Sgt. Lewis admits the County did settle with the victim for an undisclosed amount and also signed a confidentiality agreement on his behalf.  Sgt. Lewis also states he would not change the tactics used in this event.  This is not passing the smell test at this point and on face value it seems they don't want the citizens of Mesa County to know about this settlement.  The question remains why? 

Either Sgt. Matt Lewis is completely detached from relevant facts of who represented him in this civil case or the County is simply hiding this from public view.  Someone here isn't telling the TRUTH to Mesa County citizens and the TRUTH must come out!!!  VetTheGov recommends you contact your County Commissioners and ask for further investigation into what appears to be a cover up of illegal activities performed within the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and the Mesa County Attorney's Office.


Stay tuned as VetTheGov will continue digging deeper into who was ultimately responsible monetarily for the actions of the break down your doors guns a blazing and Tasers to the neck Mesa County Sheriff's Deputies.  VetTheGov must note that if you ever want a quick response to your 911 call just mention a gun might be involved and then prepare for the worst!

Friday
Aug292014

Mesa County Sheriff Candidate Sgt. Matt Lewis 4th Amendment Violation and Excessive Force Civil Suit Settlement!

In a recent interview by VetTheGov with Sgt. Matt Lewis was asked about Colorado Civil Case number 1:11-cv-02175-RM-MEH where he was personally sued for wrongful arrest by illegal means and using excessive force by surprising the victim with a taser shot to the neck and a hard takedown to the ground.  Sgt. Lewis told VetTheGov that he would do the same exact thing given the same circumstances and stood behind his decisions he made to arrest an innocent man on August 21, 2010. 

VetTheGov asked Sgt. Lewis if there was an internal affairs investigation performed regarding his actions and he was not sure but assumed so.  VetTheGov also asked Sgt. Lewis if a Constitutional violation like this occurred while he was Sheriff how would he respond internally and the question was never really answered as he stated again he would stand behind this event in similar circumstances.

Sgt. Matt Lewis also failed to disclose this incident in his recent Q & A # 5 to the republican party chair Lois Dunn and the vacancy selection committee after Steve King removed himself from the race.  In the law enforcement community this is a major violation and should have been noted in his response to the party questionnaire regarding anything else we hear about but has also decided not to release his internal affairs complaint file to the public.

VetTheGov will dissect the facts of the case that was deemed a 4th Amendment Violation by deputies on the scene by Judge Marcia Kreiger Chief US District Judge and then ordered to trial for the additional excessive force and wrongful arrest of the victim on March 19, 2013. 

In the rulings by Judge Kreiger she breaks down the days events as follows:

  • 911 call received by a neighbor for a possible domestic dispute between a couple at victims house
  • Deputies Joesph Crawford and Deputy Corben Telinde were the first to arrive at the victim's residence
  • Deputies escorted a crying female away from the residence and asked if any guns in the house and who the female was fighting with.  Upon multiple conflicting statements by the female of who the domestic partner was the deputies focused on the victim who seemed very distraught that the deputies were on his property.
  • Some verbal discussions were attempted with the victim but he was asking for deputies to leave his property and were not welcomed.  The victim was extremely agitated and emotional and told the deputies he did not have a gun.
  • Sgt. Matt Lewis and other deputies arrived on scene and Sgt. Lewis took command and positioned several deputies around the victims house with guns drawn.  
  • With very little knowledge if in fact the victim committed any crime the decision was made by Sgt. Lewis to arrest the victim all while being videotaped by a patrol car dash cam. 
  • Sgt. Lewis along with Deputy Telinde after approximately 30 minutes on scene approached the victims front door after he retreated inside and staged with Deputy Telinde drew his taser to the ready position. The decision for staging at the door was made by Lt. Wayne Weyler who is also a Brady Letter recipient. 
  • Sgt. Lewis told the court in deposition that Deputy Telinde was authorized to have his taser ready but Sgt. Lewis stated the decision to deploy was all Deputy Telinde's decision.  Deputy Telinde stated in his deposition that he was under the impression to deploy the taser if the victim gave him a clear shot. (Now this is where a true Leader and the on site Commander would stick up for the decisions made of his lower ranking Deputies standing side by side in this event but in this case and testimony Sgt. Lewis throws Deputy Telinde under the bus with his statements that Deputy Telinde acted alone).  Interesting to note that Sgt. Lewis never filed a report for his part in this arrest.  Sgt. Lewis stated in deposition it was at his discretion.  The confusion continues as depositions are taken and the stories begin to change and the inferences and lack of communication and judgement by a so called professional agency show the ugly sides of remembering the event that unfolded between the Defendants and the victim. Let's just say if this is how a professional law enforcement agency operates, then Mesa County citizens WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

Judge Kreiger pre-trial response to motions by both parties are as follows especially regarding the 4th Amendment violation:

  • Judge Kreiger points out immediately that the Defendants had different stories regarding probable cause to arrest.  Sgt. Lewis testified they were arresting the victim for "domestic assault" along with Deputy Andrew Means.  However Deputy Crawford testified he thought they were arresting victim for threats to shoot the defendants. Remember Deputy Crawford first Deputy on scene and first interviewed the battered intoxicated female yet understood the victim was not the suspect.
  • Here, the general contours of a person’s 4th Amendment right to be free from a warrantless arrest, unsupported by probable cause, is so axiomatic as to require no particular citation. See Olsen v. Layton Hills Mall, 312 F.3d 1304, 1312 (10th Cir. 2002). Under Mr. Brickey’s version of events, he made no threats against the Deputies (or anyone else), and the worst that can be said of him was that he shouted profanities at law enforcement officers from the porch of his home. In Stearns v. Clarkson, 615 F.3d 1278, 1283-84 (10th Cir, 2010), the 10th Circuit noted that “it [is] well-settled that profanity, especially toward police officers, does not” create probable cause to arrest a person even for disorderly conduct, much less any other offense. Thus, the Court finds that, taking the facts in the light most favorable to Mr. Brickey, the Defendants’ actions violated his clearly established 4th Amendment rights.
  • The Court further finds that the law clearly establishes that police officers cannot lawfully resort to deploying a taser to arrest a non-violent suspect without first giving any warnings to the suspect or attempting to obtain the suspect’s compliance via voluntary instructions. Casey, 509 F.3d at 1285-86.
  • As noted above, there is evidence in the record to indicate that the Defendants acted without probable cause in arresting Mr. Brickey, and arguably, there might even be evidence that the Defendants acted negligently in correctly assessing and adapting to the realities of the situation (i.e. by failing to obtain more information when inconsistencies appeared, or by failing to request Mr. Brickey to submit to voluntary arrest).

After Judge Kreiger approved the case forward to trial on March 19, 2013 for the excessive force and arrest without probable cause, within 2 months the entire case was settled and Dismissed with Prejudice Res Judicata and did not go to trial.  Since Mesa County was not named in the civil suit, Mesa County citizens, per the Mesa County Attorney's Office, were not responsible parties and therefore no Mesa County tax funds or insurance used in the settlement.  However one of the named Defendants Sgt. Matt Lewis now wants to be your Sheriff which should alarm all of Mesa County!

Stay tuned as more information is attempted to be collected.  If you have any relevant information regarding this case please contact VetTheGov and your anonymity if requested will be protected please use the contact us section on VetTheGov or feel free to comment away.

Tuesday
Aug192014

UPDATE: CMU Security Audit performed by Senator Steve King from 2008 not on file

VetTheGov in a previous CORA request and story regarding American National Protective Services, a private company owned by still Senator Steve King, being contracted by Colorado Mesa University to perform a security audit of the campus.

With the many college and university shootings over the last several years you would think this audit would be a very important tool that would still be on file in proof of actually performing an audit and showing folks were trained as well just in case something happened on campus CMU would at least have some risk mitigation paperwork for the stakeholders/investors. VetTheGov asked three specific questions regarding the audit, if the original hiring agent is still active at CMU, and if this was PO was open to other bids, and the actual copy of the audit findings that were required by the end of the PO term. Here is the response:

This is in response to your correspondence of August 6, 2014 in which you requested to know whether Andrew Breckel is a current employee at CMU.  He is not.

You also requested a copy of the audit report required on the PO, if still available.  The audit report is no longer available.

You also asked whether CMU was required to seek competitive bids before issuing the purchase order.  No, State of Colorado Procurement Rules required a competitive bid only for services greater than $25,000.

Since there were no time sheets available for this PO and work required by CMU we can never know if and when he performed the audit, what recommendations were made, and who was ever trained. Just another example of special favors given and received with the local insider network. Remember it's not what you know but who you know and this proves it happens in small town politics and under the radar. Seems too familiar with Mesa County Sheriff's Office contracts that were unable to be located regarding employment for Senator Steve King. We can know one thing for sure record keeping all around is lacking within our local government and its officials.

Senate Rule 41

(b) Conflicts of interest - personal or private interests versus public interest - definition.

(1) Subject to article V, section 43, of the state constitution, a Senator has the right to vote upon all questions before the Senate and to participate in the business of the Senate and its committees, and, in so doing, is presumed to act in good faith and in the public interest. When a personal interest conflicts with the public interest and tends to affect the Senator's independence of judgment, legislative activities are subject to limitations. Where any such conflict exists, it disqualifies the Senator from voting upon any question and from attempting to influence any legislation to which it relates.

(2) A question arises as to whether a personal or private interest tends to affect a Senator's independence of judgment if the Senator:

(A) Has or acquires a substantial economic interest by reason of the Senator's personal situation, distinct from that held generally by members of the same occupation, profession, or business, in a measure proposed or pending before the General Assembly; or has a close relative or close economic associate with such an interest.

(B) Has or acquires a financial interest in an enterprise, direct or indirect, which enterprise or interest would be affected by proposed legislation differently from like enterprises.

(C) Has or acquires a close economic association with, or is a close relative of, a person who has a financial interest in an enterprise, direct or indirect, which enterprise or interest would be affected by proposed legislation differently from like enterprises.

(D) Has or acquires a close economic association with, or is a close relative of, a person who is a lobbyist or who employs or has employed a lobbyist to propose legislation or to influence proposed legislation on which the Senator has or may be expected to vote.

(E) Accepts a gift, loan, service, or economic opportunity of significant value from a person who would be affected by or who has an interest in an enterprise which would be affected by proposed legislation. This provision shall likewise apply where such gift, loan, service, or opportunity is accepted by a close relative of the Senator. It shall not normally apply in the following cases: A commercially reasonable loan made in the ordinary course of business by an institution authorized by the laws of this state to engage in the business of making loans; an occasional nonpecuniary gift, insignificant in value; a nonpecuniary award publicly presented by a nonprofit organization in recognition of public service; or payment of or reimbursement for actual and necessary expenditures for travel and subsistence for personal attendance at a convention or other meeting at which the Senator is scheduled to participate and for which attendance no reimbursement is made by the state of Colorado.

ARTICLE XXIX Ethics in Government

Section 1. Purposes and findings. (1) The people of the state of Colorado hereby find and declare that:

           (a) The conduct of public officers, members of the general assembly, local government officials, and government employees must hold the respect and confidence of the people;

           (b) They shall carry out their duties for the benefit of the people of the state;

           (c) They shall, therefore, avoid conduct that is in violation of their public trust or that creates a justifiable impression among members of the public that such trust is being violated;

           (d) Any effort to realize personal financial gain through public office other than compensation provided by law is a violation of that trust; and

           (e) To ensure propriety and to preserve public confidence, they must have the benefit of specific standards to guide their conduct, and of a penalty mechanism to enforce those standards.

           (2) The people of the state of Colorado also find and declare that there are certain costs associated with holding public office and that to ensure the integrity of the office, such costs of a reasonable and necessary nature should be born by the state or local government.

Section 6. Penalty 

Any public officer, member of the general assembly, local government official or government employee who breaches the public trust for private gain and any person or entity inducing such breach shall be liable to the state or local jurisdiction for double the amount of the financial equivalent of any benefits obtained by such actions. The manner of recovery and additional penalties may be provided by law. 

C.R.S. 24-18-104 (2013) Rules of conduct for all public officers, members of the general assembly, local government officials, and employees

(1) Proof beyond a reasonable doubt of commission of any act enumerated in this section is proof that the actor has breached his fiduciary duty and the public trust. A public officer, a member of the general assembly, a local government official, or an employee shall not:

(a) Disclose or use confidential information acquired in the course of his official duties in order to further substantially his personal financial interests; or

(b) Accept a gift of substantial value or a substantial economic benefit tantamount to a gift of substantial value:

(I) Which would tend improperly to influence a reasonable person in his position to depart from the faithful and impartial discharge of his public duties; or

(II) Which he knows or which a reasonable person in his position should know under the circumstances is primarily for the purpose of rewarding him for official action he has taken.

(2) An economic benefit tantamount to a gift of substantial value includes without limitation:

(a) A loan at a rate of interest substantially lower than the commercial rate then currently prevalent for similar loans and compensation received for private services rendered at a rate substantially exceeding the fair market value of such services; or

(b) The acceptance by a public officer, a member of the general assembly, a local government official, or an employee of goods or services for his or her own personal benefit offered by a person who is at the same time providing goods or services to the state or a local government under a contract or other means by which the person receives payment or other compensation from the state or local government, as applicable, for which the officer, member, official, or employee serves, unless the totality of the circumstances attendant to the acceptance of the goods or services indicates that the transaction is legitimate, the terms are fair to both parties, the transaction is supported by full and adequate consideration, and the officer, member, official, or employee does not receive any substantial benefit resulting from his or her official or governmental status that is unavailable to members of the public generally. 

24-18-201. Interests in contracts

(1) Members of the general assembly, public officers, local government officials, or employees shall not be interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity or by any body, agency, or board of which they are members or employees. A former employee may not, within six months following the termination of his employment, contract or be employed by an employer who contracts with a state agency or any local government involving matters with which he was directly involved during his employment. For purposes of this section, the term:

(a) "Be interested in" does not include holding a minority interest in a corporation.

(b) "Contract" does not include:

(I) Contracts awarded to the lowest responsible bidder based on competitive bidding procedures;

(II) Merchandise sold to the highest bidder at public auctions;

(III) Investments or deposits in financial institutions which are in the business of loaning or receiving moneys;

(IV) A contract with an interested party if, because of geographic restrictions, a local government could not otherwise reasonably afford itself of the subject of the contract. It shall be presumed that a local government could not otherwise reasonably afford itself of the subject of a contract if the additional cost to the local government is greater than ten percent of a contract with an interested party or if the contract is for services that must be performed within a limited time period and no other contractor can provide those services within that time period.

(V) A contract with respect to which any member of the general assembly, public officer, local government official, or employee has disclosed a personal interest and has not voted thereon or with respect to which any member of the governing body of a local government has voted thereon in accordance with section 24-18-109 (3) (b) or 31-4-404 (3), C.R.S. Any such disclosure shall be made: To the governing body, for local government officials and employees; in accordance with the rules of the house of representatives and the senate, for members of the general assembly; and to the secretary of state, for all others.

24-18-206. Penalty

A person who knowingly commits an act proscribed in this part 2 commits a class 1 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S. In addition to the penalties provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S., the court may impose a fine of no more than twice the amount of the benefit the person obtained or was attempting to obtain in violating a provision of this part 2.

2012 Colorado Ethics Committee Opinion regarding Conflict of Interest and Contracts 

Now the question to Senator Steve King is how many BILLS were influenced by your relationship with Mesa County Sheriff's Office and Colorado Mesa University. VetTheGov believes Senator King should have rescused himself from any vote that is perceived as a Conflict of Interest. It will be interesting to see if anyone at the DA's office or Senate leaders will put these together and prove to the People they are looking out for our best interest and not their own. Looking doubtful at the moment.

Sunday
Jul062014

A day in the life of time sheets featuring State Senator Steve King

Since the magnifying glass has suddenly focused on superstar Senator Steve King who is a legend in his own mind, law enforcer of the millennium, touts an unblemished political and law enforcement career choke choke, seems to have only ever protected Presidents since his resume highlights his 20-year Presidential protective services working directly with Secret Service agents, and his cush appointed jobs within Mesa County leaves open the door to a world of political favors and mulitiple time sheet manipulations.

VetTheGov through recent CORA request has discovered Senator King received a two special positions at Colorado Mesa University (CMU) from July 28, 2012 until December 24, 2013 and on average worked and filled out time sheets between 160 to 190 hours a month during these dates. On top of these hours, Senator King also was working his other appointed position at the Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) and filled out time sheets during these same time frames on average between 80 to 100 hours a month. 

VetTheGov further leaned that in between his privileged jobs he drove to Denver and back for legislative meetings.  For example during the month of October 2013 billing cycles, Senator King billed CMU for 161 hours, billed MCSO for 103 hours, drove to Denver on September 30th and spent the day in Denver on October 1st and drove back to Grand Junction (approx. 16 hours), drove back to Denver on October 6 after working at CMU for 7 hours and spent the next day and night in Denver and drove back to Grand Junction on the 8th (approx. 20 hours), and last trip to Denver on October 28th after working a 10 hour shift at CMU and returned October 31 and began another 10 hour shift at CMU that started at 9 AM (approx. 24 legislative hours).  Not to mention Senator King also has a private sector business called American National Protective Services in which he is Chief Operating Officer. Whew right? If VetTheGov only has hotel receipts of check-in and check-out times, if VetTheGov were allowed access to his MCSO time sheets that are suddenly under investigation and sealed, we might learn that Senator King worked in multiple places at the same time or that he simply never sleeps.

Senator King was then back in Denver on October 3, 2013 for his on record vote for the mental illness committee he attended and of course all of this between two CMU shifts the day prior October 2nd of 8 hours from 1200-2000 and then on October 4th a 10-hour shift from 1130-2130. No legislative billing for driving, meals, or hotel stay. Another mistake? Or did he just stay in Denver after his October 1st committee meeting and bill CMU on the 2nd keeping CMU safe while in Denver?  

Appears on the face value that Senator King would of worked some 338 hours or 85 hours weekly in October with some very mysterious conflicts of time. Hopefully soon the Arapahoe District Attorney's Office will release the remainder of his 44 or so time sheets in the interest of the Mesa County taxpayers!

On September 11, 2013 Senator King's CMU time sheets reflects hours worked from 11 AM to 7 PM yet also attended a legislative meeting in Grand Junction on CMU campus from 2 PM to 4 PM. Surely a legislative session is not in Senator King's CMU security job description of billing CMU while acting in role of Senator for this time away from his duties?  

VetTheGov ask you the taxpayers why CMU and MCSO are allowed to hire a sitting State Senator and candidate for Sheriff, run over to Denver in between these gigs and vote on bills that could potentially favor the governmental agencies he is working for? Convenient political favors need to stop in Mesa County or at least be reported to the Secretary of State's Office when hiring what appears to be a scratch my back and I will scratch yours legislative paying relationship.  

CMU is registered as a professional Colorado lobby group and MCSO is not. But why would MCSO need to be registered when you can simply hire a State Senator and Representative that can bill as many hours as he would like at MCSO? Here is the State Statute for your review and VetTheGov has contacted the SOS for this documentation and nothing has been filed by either entity regarding Senator King's employment: 
TITLE 24. GOVERNMENT - STATE ADMINISTRATION  
ARTICLE 6. COLORADO SUNSHINE LAW  
PART 3. REGULATION OF LOBBYISTS
C.R.S. 24-6-306 Employment of legislators, legislative employees, or state employees - filing of statement
If any person who engages in lobbying employs or causes his employer to employ any member of the general assembly, any member of a rule-making board or commission, any rule-making official of a state agency, any employee of the general assembly, or any full-time state employee who remains in the partial employ of the state or any agency thereof, the new employer shall file a statement under oath with the secretary of state within fifteen days after such employment. The statement shall specify the nature of the employment, the name of the individual to be paid thereunder, and the amount of pay or consideration to be paid thereunder. 

SB14-001 added 100+ Million to higher education this year and Senator King was a yes vote.  In the Bill there was also additional line funding for CMU (b) $2,186,000 for the trustees of Colorado Mesa university, including $413,580 from student stipend payments and $1,772,420 from fee-for-service contracts. Interesting!

Here is a list of all higher education Bills from 2014 session-http://highered.colorado.gov/CCHE/Meetings/2014/may/2014%20DHE%20Legislative%20Status%20Sheet%20(5-9-14).pdf

Over 2/3 of his main Bill sponsoring during the 2014 legislative session were pro criminal Justice.

Stay tuned as VetTheGov continues shining light into the dark corners of Mesa County political favoritism and the benefits that obviously come with them for all the entities involved! Just keep in mind why the Morale remains low in Mesa County government when no raises for 3 years, top positions getting huge raises, and unlimited billing hours for the Senator and still Mesa County Sheriff candidate Brady letter FIRED ex-cop under criminal investigation.  

Friday
Jun132014

Senator Steve King (current Sheriff candidate) suddenly resigns as Open Records request hits the Sheriff's Office!

VetTheGov's recent Open Records request to Mesa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) regarding Steve King's recent employment beginning April 22, 2014 and now sudden resignation on June 6, 2014 have left more questions then answers of the Internal Policies of MCSO of privileged appointments made to still sitting State Senator and candidate for Mesa County Sheriff.  

VetTheGov submitted the first Open Records request on June 2, 2014 and second request on June 9, 2014 requesting any internal affairs investigations, policy violations, current contract with MCSO, paystubs, and if his position was funded with federal dollars.  Interesting to note that the Open Records statutes require a written response within 72 hours of receiving the request and MCSO failed to meet this time frame on the first Open Records request and the response letter was dated June 9, 2014 a full week after the initial request. Could be interesting the next time you are pulled over for a traffic violation and ask for the same pass regarding following state statutes and any penalties associated with them!  WE should expect better from this agency to follow the letter of the law when they require you to do the same. 

VetTheGov received the following statements regarding his employment and temporary/contract/on-call position when he is not in session:

"With regard to the hiring process, Steve King began with the Sheriff's Office on July 6, 1999.  Mr. King was hired under Claussen Administration and he was subject to the hiring process in place at the time, which included application; interviews; polygraph examinations; medical, physical, and psychiatric screenings.  Steve King voluntarily left full-time employment with the Sheriff's Office to serve in his elected position in the Colorado Legislature on 12/27/06; however, he retained his deputy sheriff status (unpaid) at the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and with POST.  Since that time, Mr. King has been re-hired as a temporary/contract/on-call employee when the legislature was not in session.  The Mesa County Sheriff's Office/Mesa County does have records (6 pages) reflecting Steve King's separation on 12/27/06; re-hire on 05/15/07; re-hire on 06/27/08; re-hire on 05/18/09; re-hire on 05/27/10; and re-hire on 04/22/14.  Even though transaction records are not found, Steve King also worked in 2011 and 2013 in that same capacity."

In a June 10, 2014 letter received from the Mesa County Attorney's Office they state, "Steve King does not have an employment contract with Mesa County."  It was also relayed that Steve King was being paid out of the general fund and therefore not federal funds which could of resulted in a Federal Hatch Act violation if 100% of his salary was with Federal monies.  Steve King mentions on his campaign website that he helped part-time on cold case investigations, "Steve continues to work part-time for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office investigating cold cases when he is not in Denver for the legislative session." VetTheGov wonders if any of Steve King's special appointments in the past during his legislative career might have been paid for with Federal programs cold case DNA grant monies issued to and through the state of Colorado.  Very hard to prove with the new updated Hatch Act laws enacted in 2012.

VetTheGov requested any internal affairs investigation or citizen complaints against Steve King and the response was, "that information is confidential, protected information, not subject to public disclosure under CORA, pursuant to C.R.S. 24-72-204(3)(a)(II)(A)."  The letter goes on to state that no record of any of these events are in his file.  Wouldn't that consist of a public disclosure?  Interesting note is that the same request was made to the City of Grand Junction police Department in which the City returned VetTheGov 12 total pages relating to citizen complaints and internal policy violations involving Steve King's personnel file. 

Several questions arise of Steve King's legislative position and hiring during session: Why does he not have a contract with the County?  Was he working for the citizens of Mesa County or the Sheriff's Office while operating in both roles at the same time? Was his legislative work for the Sheriff's Office since he always had a political appointment job waiting for him after his legislative work?  Does anyone else within MCSO receive this type of preferential treatment of not having to go back through the hiring process like others waiting to get a job that have performed the recent hiring requirements?  With Steve King's recent personal life meltdown, wouldn't it be safe to say a new psychological and polygraph would be required?  Wouldn't this behavior create a hostile work environment?  Would he have access to confidential information as both a a State Senator and his contract position within the Sheriff's Office? What about any conflict of interest with his company American National Protective Services, Inc. which is showing delinquent since May 1, 2012 on the Colorado Secretary of State website? 

VetTheGov believes that Senator King is still receiving a paycheck from the State of Colorado as sitting Senator since he hasn't officially resigned from this position and to top it off he gets hired by MCSO April 22, 2014 during his current legislative session that didn't end until May 7, 2014.  After the legislative session ends May 7, 2014, Steve King already being employed by MCSO, begins receiving campaign donations that appear as Legal and Political FAVORS that could be purchased with these donations, especially from those inside the Sheriff's office looking for better positions if Steve King were to be elected Sheriff.

VettheGov believes MCSO should be the most transparent government agency in the community but instead it's beginning to take the appearance of a partisan party campaign office.  With multiple Federal Grant monies such as EBDM coming into this LOCAL agency with all the comply tentacles attached, the dangers become larger than ever of internal favors and cover ups, sealed protection of what should be transparent public information for all of Mesa County citizens, and any future Conflict of Interest with the local community and local political party affiliations.

Something really SMELLS in this entire transaction!  Maybe it's time for more internal check ups within MCSO.  Please share this story if you agree.