BREAKING: Ethics Group Catches Coffman in Lies?

Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government released a statement moments ago that new information has surfaced suggesting that Secretary of State Mike Coffman and his embattled technology manager Dan Kopelman may be criminally liable for embezzlement of public property, among other acts.

Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government (CCEG) today called on Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to initiate a criminal investigation of Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman and an employee in his office, Dan Kopelman.  Through a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request, CCEG has obtained new evidence suggesting that Secretary Coffman and Mr. Kopelman may be criminally liable for embezzlement of public property, or other unlawful acts.

Until recently, Mr. Kopelman served as the Elections Technology Manager for the secretary of state’s (SOS) office while simultaneously operating an outside partisan business, Political Live Wires, in violation of state law.  Secretary Coffman has repeatedly stated that he did not know Mr. Kopelman continued to operate Political Live Wires after he began working for the state.  Notably, documents obtained by CCEG reveal that Secretary Coffman received e-newsletters from that included Republican party updates “provided by Dan Kopelman.”  Furthermore, Mr. Kopelman repeatedly used the e-mail address to conduct official SOS business, a violation of state law.

Secretary Coffman and his staff members have also claimed that Mr. Kopelman “did not have access to the Department of State’s voter registration data.”  CCEG’s documents contradict this claim.  In an email dated April 27, 2007, Secretary Coffman instructs Mr. Kopelman to determine if there are any illegal immigrants with felony records in the state’s voter file.  In response to the Secretary’s request, Mr. Kopelman responds that he can complete the task by, among other things, reviewing “voting history” and “using the data we have on hand at this time.”

“Secretary Coffman’s claims that he was not aware of Mr. Kopelman’s continued operation of Political Live Wires and that Mr. Kopelman did not have access to state voter data, fall short of the truth” said CCEG Director Chantell Taylor.  “Based on documents obtained by CCEG, it appears that Secretary Coffman has deliberately misled the public and should be investigated and held accountable for his actions.” 

The group is calling for Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to launch a criminal investigation.

More information as it becomes available.

Read Colorado Confidential’s continuing coverage of the SoS scandal here.

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Wendy Norris

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