CCEG Urges Criminal Investigation Into Officials For Improper Use of Funds
DENVER – Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government (CCEG), a nonpartisan, nonprofit legal watchdog organization, called on Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey and Phil Baca, Chief of Criminal Investigation Division for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office, to launch an immediate investigation into Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Congrove, outgoing Jefferson County Attorney Frank Hutfless and persons acting on their behalf for using public funds to investigate county employees and private citizens.
According to documents obtained by CCEG from the Jefferson County Public Information Officer, the County Attorney’s Office paid a private agency more than $7,000 to investigate county employees, private citizens and personal adversaries. Based on these documents, both Commissioner Congrove and County Attorney Hutfless were aware of and authorized payments to the agency using public funds.
Under Colorado law, it is a crime for a public servant to knowingly convert government funds to any use other than that authorized by law. So-called “embezzlement of public property” is a crime punishable by up to three years in jail and fines of up to $100,000. Any public servant convicted of embezzling public property is also barred from holding office again.