Tuesday, March 28, 2017

DA declines to file charges after City Council mailer complaint

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 5:00 PM

click to enlarge cityelectionsbug-web_360.png
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May has determined that although Colorado Springs City Council candidate Lynette Crow-Iverson's campaign used false information against incumbent Jill Gaebler in a campaign mailer, it didn't meet requirements of the criminal statute that bars using falsehoods in a political campaign.

Same goes for State Rep. Dave Williams, of House District 15, who sent out email blasts containing the same false information against Gaebler.

In response to the DA's ruling, Gaebler issued this statement:
It’s unfortunate that the level of misrepresentations of my record - spread by my opponent - have become so extreme to become the focus of an investigation by District Attorney Dan May. The biggest loser in these negative attacks and lies continues to be the voters of District 5 who deserve an honest choice in who will represent them and our
community.

click to enlarge Gaebler: thankful DA ruled the mailer false. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Gaebler: thankful DA ruled the mailer false.
While these specific allegations apparently did not rise to a criminal level, I appreciate the District Attorney’s finding that literature from Lynette Crow-Iverson’s campaign was false and a complete fabrication.

Simply put, I do not and have not supported sanctuary cities in our state.

I want to thank District Attorney May for his thoughtful investigation into these falsehoods. In the final days of this campaign, I look forward to continuing a conversation with my community about the things that matter most to them - roads and infrastructure, responsible growth, and ensuring that our families and children live in safe neighborhoods.
Here's the DA's Office's release of the findings:
On Friday, March 24, 2017, Colorado Springs City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler filed a formal complaint with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office based on a political mailer that had been sent out by her political opponent Lynette Crow-Iverson. The mailer incorrectly states that:

City Councilwoman and Colorado Municipal League Executive Board Member Jill Gaebler voted unanimously to oppose House Bill 17-1134, which would “Hold Colorado Government Accountable for Creating Sanctuary Jurisdiction Policies.

From The Colorado Municipal League’s Website: “The Colorado Municipal League is the voice of Colorado's cities and towns, counting more than 97 percent of the state's municipalities as our members. Founded in 1923, the Colorado Municipal League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization providing services and resources to assist municipal officials in managing their governments and serving the cities and towns of Colorado.”

Colorado Municipal League (CML) members met on February 17 to vote to unanimously oppose HB 17-1134. City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, who has consistently voiced her opposition to sanctuary cities, was not present for that vote.

Representative Dave Williams contacted CML regarding the organization’s vote on HB17-1134 and asked specifically how Councilwoman Gaebler had voted. A CML employee, who did not check the record, informed Rep. Williams that the vote to oppose the bill was unanimous and that they believed Councilwoman Gaebler had opposed the bill. This information was clearly wrong.

It is against Colorado law to knowingly or recklessly circulate false information about your opponent. Because the erroneous information used in Lynette Crow-Iverson’s mailer was provided by the CML employee, the District Attorney’s Office is unable to prove that anyone involved in producing the mailer knowingly or recklessly circulated false information. No charges will be filed.
We've asked the Crow-Iverson campaign for a comment and will update if and when we hear something.

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