The Home Front: Ex-town councilman in Colorado pleads guilty to stealing $1M from bank

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of Colorado newspapers

The Home Front: Ex-town councilman in Colorado pleads guilty to stealing $1M from bank

“A former Johnstown Town Council member was sentenced Monday morning to two years’ work release and 10 years supervised probation after pleading guilty to theft of about $1 million he stole from a Colorado bank,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “He will have to pay the bank at least $500 a month for the next decade to compensate for the crime. The courtroom was full as Clair Hull, 56, listened to Weld District Judge Julie Hoskins hand down the sentence. Prior to that, three people spoke on Hull’s behalf, including Sarah McFadden, his oldest daughter. The case has its origins in Hull’s questionable business practices, beginning in January 2007, when he acquired a $1 million loan from the First National Bank of Greeley.” … “I’m sorry to let the bank down, let my family down, let my church down,” he said.

“A series of budget adjustments have taken some of the heat off the troubled Mesa County budget, one of which gives the clerk’s office needed breathing room,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Other offices on Monday started personnel reductions. The Mesa County Commission on Monday approved about $1.5 million in changes to the approved 2017 budget of $57.4 million. The mixture of cuts and other changes leaves the county with a projected $1.2 million deficit.”

“Boulder County, which already is being sued over the legality of its soon-to-expire moratorium on oil and gas development, may also face legal challenges over new drilling and production regulations the Board of County Commissioners adopted last month,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Colorado Oil and Gas Association President Dan Haley said on Monday that his industry organization’s lawyers are reviewing the new county rules, which he said amount to “unrealistic regulatory standards designed to roadblock responsible energy production.” Meanwhile, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and Boulder County are continuing to exchange written legal arguments in the AG’s lawsuit over the county’s soon-to-expire moratorium on processing new applications for oil and gas development in unincorporated parts of the county. The moratorium — the latest in a series of time-outs on drilling and production that originally began in February 2012 — is scheduled to expire on May 1.”

The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent continues its series into why healthcare costs are so outrageous in Colorado’s mountain towns.

“As Larimer County moves forward with plans for its new building at First Street and Denver Avenue in Loveland, officials have to make a decision about what to do with the old building and property on Sixth Street and nearby parking lot on Railroad Avenue,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Loveland City Council members will vote on going into a closed-door meeting Tuesday to discuss the potential negotiations. The City Council meeting will start at 6 p.m. and take place in the Loveland municipal building, 500 E. Third St. Larimer County approached the city about purchasing the property and parking lot at a meeting last October, but Loveland City Council members asked for more details after a new appraisal was conducted.”

“During its regular meeting Monday, the Cañon City Council approved second reading of an ordinance terminating the city’s current employee benefit plan in its entirety, acknowledging the fire district’s withdrawal from the current plan and terminating the city’s coverage of Fremont Sanitation District employees,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The city’s most current plan covered employees and dependents of the three entities. The city will terminate its health benefit plan Sept. 30 and will have a new plan effective Oct. 1. The board of directors for the Cañon City Area Fire District in February voted to terminate the district’s participation in the employee health insurance plan, effective April 1, and to establish a partially self-funded plan.”

“Gov. John Hickenlooper called it the most complex array of legislation that he’s ever seen in seven years as governor,” according to today’s Fort Morgan Times for a piece reported by Marianne Goodland for The Colorado Independent. “That trio of bills is the state budget, a bill to raise sales taxes for transportation and the hospital provider fee bill sponsored by Sterling Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Jon Becker of Fort Morgan. And all three are moving through the legislature this week and next. The $26.8 billion state budget cleared the state Senate on Thursday on a 30-5 vote, with four Democrats and one Republican – Sen. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs – voting against. Also voting against: Sen. Andy Kerr, a Lakewood Democrat. Both sit on the Senate Finance Committee that next Tuesday will be asked to take the first crack at the Sonnenberg/Becker hospital provider fee bill.”

Today is Election Day in Colorado Springs,” reports The Gazette. This year’s local elections have been a circus.

“Poudre School District will cut between six to nine staff positions at its central office next school year as part of an effort to address lower than expected state funding,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “PSD Superintendent Sandra Smyser announced the planned $800,000 in cuts in an email to PSD staff Monday morning. The reductions will help restore PSD reserves diminished by lower than expected enrollment this year as the district faces expected state funding reductions for the 2017-18 school year and beyond.”

Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet won’t filibustering the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, The Denver Post reports— a story broken yesterday by Mike Littwin in The Colorado Independent.

Durango voters will decide whether they want fluoride in their water today, according to The Durango Herald.

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

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