Question Of Priorities In Attorney General Budget

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers does not have enough resources to enforce consumer protection laws, but has money to challenge same-sex marriage in other states.A document drafted by the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC) last week shows that Suthers is requesting 2.5 more employees at a cost of approximately $204,000 to combat consumer fraud.

According to the budget proposal, another hired attorney would help “pursue enforcement actions against individuals and entities” that the Attorney General’s Office cannot currently pursue because of a “lack of resources.”

The agency also wants 1.5 of the new staff to tackle “payday” predatory lending practices, at a cost of about $112,000.

Meanwhile, the department’s annual report touts one of the agency’s major initiatives to protect state sovereignty by fighting same-sex marriage in other states, according to the JBC briefing document:

…and a program to defend state sovereignty by filing friend of the court briefs in various cases across the country.

Recently filed briefs for the latter program:

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at