Statetap: Guv’s clemency board to begin work, at last

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 4.14.45 PMLast week, Gov. John Hickenlooper got around to filling the seven seats on the Executive Clemency Advisory Board, which has been vacant since its inception in 2012. The board is meant to review clemency, pardon and commutation of sentence requests, but hasn’t done any reviews of anything so far. “I expected to get an answer back within 10 days,” Wayne Thomas told the Denver Post‘s Jordan Steffen, “It has been months.” Thomas is seeking a pardon from the governor for a 17-year-old aggravated robbery conviction. Chief Deputy District Attorney John Hower, who reviews pardon requests before they go to the clemency board, praised Thomas’s application: “We often see defendants and prisoners say they are sorry, but it’s hard to tell if they are really sorry for what they did or if they are just sorry they got caught. There was simply no attempt (by Thomas) to evade full responsibility.” Thomas is frustrated by the slow process, saying “I feel like I’m owned by the state, still.” Photo by Aaron Ontiveroz.

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Term-limited Colorado attorney general John Suthers officially announced his candidacy for Colorado Springs mayor Saturday morning at a local brewpub. Rumors that he would run have been brewing for a while, but this was his first real campaign speech. “I’m running for mayor because I believe I have the knowledge, the experience, the passion, the local, state and national relationships, and most importantly, the collaborative leadership style that it’s going to take to create an atmosphere at City Hall that is conducive to community and economic development,” he told a crowd of hundreds. He promised to do away with the business personal property tax, improve relations with city council (which have been markedly strained with Steve Bach as mayor) and encourage entrepreneurship. Secretary of State Wayne Williams, former 4th Judicial District Attorney Jeanne Smith and Tom Neppl, former chair of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance board, all gave endorsements prior to Suthers’s speech. Via the Gazette, photo by Michael Ciaglo.

Augustine Roy Esquibel, a school board member in the Centennial School District, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and resisting arrest on Thursday. The pleas were part of a bargain struck by prosecutors in exchange for dismissing charges for attempting to influence a public servant and harassment, in addition to a whole separate case in which Esquibel is accused of violating his bond conditions and a protection order. Via the Pueblo Chieftain

In a panel meeting in Greeley last week, the state’s top energy industry regulator told Gov. Hickenlooper’s task force that Colorado has one inspector for every 2,000 oil and gas wells. Via the Durango Herald

[Top photo: Robert Hruzek.]