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Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office this week made what's sure to be a controversial decision to officially support Secretary of State Scott Gessler's effort to establish a legal defense fund. The fund would host contributions from private donors willing to cover costs tied to a Denver District Attorney criminal investigation into reimbursements Gessler charged to his office for alleged unofficial expenses.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett announced today via Twitter that his office would drop all pending prosecutions of adults for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and/or possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Building from reports last month on a possible breach of campaign-finance regulations, Colorado Ethics Watch has filed a Colorado Opens Record Act request to determine whether the government-funded Colorado Senate Minority Office provided the gubernatorial campaign of Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry (R-Grand Junction) with email contact lists. Colorado law prohibits state agencies from providing contributions to a campaign. Ethics Watch contends the email lists are valuable and would amount to a campaign contribution.
A state Senate panel late Wednesday evening approved a bill to require law enforcement officials to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony in Colorado, over strong objections from one lawmaker who said “Katie’s Law” — named after a New Mexico college student whose brutal rape and murder was solved using DNA evidence — does “permanent damage” to constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
Just in time for Christmas, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey is “poised” to receive a $32,000 salary increase in 2009, bringing his annual pay to $177,000. His spokesman calls the raise “modest,” and says “if you want skilled people with the expertise who are going to provide that core government function of public safety, there does have to be fair compensation.” Um, OK. Let’s consider it another way: The proposed salary is more than twice as much as the $80,004 that Colorado Attorney General John Suthers earns, nearly twice as much as the $90,000 that Gov. Bill Ritter is paid — and far more than the $149,000 that Colorado U.S. Attorney Troy Eid currently makes.
A group that launched a failed attempt to protect affirmative action programs in Colorado will sue Secretary of State Mike Coffman today for throwing away up to 5,300 valid signatures that would have bolstered the initiative's chances to make it onto the ballot.