The Pueblo man arrested Wednesday on charges he sexually assaulted a 5-year-old boy while working as the manager of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign for southern Colorado also managed the campaign of Republican state legislative candidate Muhammad Ali Hasan for two months in 2007, according to state records.
Jeffrey Bartleson, who listed his job as “political consultant” when he entered the Pueblo County Jail last week on another molestation charge, was the first of several campaign managers for Hasan, who spent more than $350,000 on failed bids in Senate District 8 and then House District 56.
Bartleson was paid a $4,600 monthly salary to manage Hasan’s state Senate campaign, according to forms Hasan filed with the Colorado secretary of state. He left the campaign in early December 2007, at about the time Hasan gave up plans to challenge then-state Rep. Al White for the Republican nomination and turned his attention to the House district race.
“Bartleson left the team when his wife became ill,” according to a lengthy portrait of the Hasan campaigns written by former Colorado Independent reporter Naomi Zeveloff in the Jan. 17, 2008, edition of Westword.
Bartleson, who accompanied Hasan and other staffers on trips across the sprawling district, was the one who discovered that Hasan and the campaign’s publicist, Alison Miller, had begun a clandestine affair. “But then one day Bartleson caught them making out in between interviews for a campaign assistant, and Ali decided to go public with the relationship,” Zeveloff wrote.
The two later had a nasty split that ended with Miller claiming Hasan was stalking her, but she eventually dropped a request for a restraining order against the candidate. Hasan took a public vow of celibacy last summer but said it was at the joking request of Republican officials and had nothing to do with Miller.
Hasan didn’t return a phone message requesting comment.
Bartleson is being held in the Pueblo County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond.
UPDATE: Hasan released a statement to the Colorado Independent:
Jeff Bartleson and I worked together in the fall of 2007 on my campaign. Bartleson terminated his work with us due to his wife’s illness, which prevented him from continuing to work with us. Bartleson’s departure had nothing to do with the current accusations being brought against him. I have faith that our court system will deal with this matter appropriately.