The Home Front: Prosecutor calls Colorado judge’s conduct ‘questionable, bordering on unethical,’ and dismisses charge
Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado
“A Weld County judge Thursday afternoon dismissed a misdemeanor charge against a Greeley municipal court judge, and sealed records related to the offense,” reports The Greeley Tribune. Brandilynn Nieto in August was issued a summons on suspicion of official misconduct. She was also removed from the bench as a municipal court judge. … The Larimer County District Attorney’s office handled the case, to avoid any possible conflict of interest. This past month the office refused a Tribune request for more information, saying the case was under investigation. Jodi Lacey, spokeswoman for the office, declined to say which agency was investigating, although Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams confirmed his deputies had finished with the case. Lacey did not offer any more information about the facts of the case. In court Thursday, Emily Humphrey, a prosecutor from the Larimer County District Attorney’s office, called Nieto’s conduct “questionable, bordering on unethical,” but said she did not feel a criminal element could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. She asked Weld County Judge Charles Unfug to dismiss the charge, a request he granted.”
“It took a snowstorm, a sick child, an executive order and 29 years for Eliana, a Grand Junction resident, to learn how to drive. Eliana, 33, immigrated to the United States with her parents in 1996 when she was 9 years old,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “She is one of nearly 800,000 people in the United States who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created by President Barack Obama in 2012. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump ordered the end of DACA by March and instructed Congress to find a permanent legislative solution to the issue.”
“Longmont will collaborate with Boulder County on responding to an oil and gas company’s recent state application that could lead to eventual drilling on a 2,720-acre area southeast of the current city limits city, officials said on Thursday,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “That area, which lies between Quail and Oxford roads, mostly west of East County Line Road, includes a 70-acre property where the city eventually plans to develop a community park, according to Dale Rademacher, general manager of Longmont’s Public Works and Natural Resources Department.”
“A Loveland man removed a controversial sign from his front yard Thursday more than a month after he constructed the billboard to criticize his neighborhood’s homeowners association,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “But Rich Stephens, the resident, did so with a promise from the Alford Meadows Community Association that it would never again harass him over a wooden pallet painted to resemble a colonial American flag hanging from the side of his house on the corner of West 50th Street and Crabapple Drive. The association’s original complaint was about that very yard decoration.”
“Three categories of nurses at the short-staffed Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo could get pay raises of up to 23 percent as early as November if the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee agrees to a $2.8 million emergency funding request sent its way Thursday,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The Colorado Department of Human Services, which oversees CMHIP, says the money would raise pay for 187 qualified Nurse 1, 2 and 3 positions at the hospital. The raises would range from 18-23 percent. The higher pay is intended to help fill chronically vacant patient-care nursing positions at the 449-bed hospital.”
“This week, the town of Gypsum celebrated the dedication ceremony for the new LEDE Reservoir dam,” reports Vail Daily. “It may be the most aptly named celebration that the town has ever hosted. It took a huge amount of dedication, and decades of discussion, to rebuild the dam. Thursday, Sept. 14, provided an opportunity for town representatives, state officials, U.S. Forest Service personnel and other people involved in the project to revel in the reward that their patience produced.”
“We’re about to hit that narrow, golden window when swaths of Colorado trees glow yellow in unison,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “But if you blink — or you’re fooled by recent unseasonable warmth — you might miss the show. Cooler temperatures are in the forecast for this weekend and late next week, and cooler weather triggers color change for trees.”
“A Cañon City man originally arrested after he allegedly kidnapped a 7-year-old in June was sentenced to two years of supervised probation Thursday,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record.
“Boulder County commissioners voted unanimously Thursday morning to allow Eco-Cycle to continue operating the county recycling center,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The vote followed a staff recommendation indicating that the nonprofit Eco-Cycle had submitted the most cost-effective proposal for contract. It was one of three bids received to operate the center. Front Range Recycling and Charlotte, N.C.-based ReCommunity also submitted bids.”
“A company working to pioneer a technology its executives say will one day transport passengers at the speed of sound has chosen the Front Range as a possible site for one of its first lines,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Colorado transportation officials will team up with Hyperloop One to determine the feasibility of a 360-mile, high-speed transportation system capable of zipping passengers from Colorado Springs to Denver in nine minutes. Scientists are still perfecting the technology, which would use electric propulsion and magnetic levitation to send a pod loaded with passengers and cargo whizzing through a low-pressure tube at speeds of more than 700 miles per hour.”
“Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday called lawmakers back to the Capitol to fix a bill-drafting error that has been costing Denver-based institutions hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in marijuana revenue,” reports The Denver Post. “The special session set to start Oct. 2 will be the first in five years for Hickenlooper and the General Assembly, an extraordinary step for a governor who typically has deferred to lawmakers on legislative matters during his two terms.”
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