Last week, the Independent
reported that three local activists are facing trespassing charges stemming from a peaceful visit to Senator Cory Gardner's downtown office
With their case heading to trial, the defendants are wondering why the charges haven't been dropped — as they were in a similar Denver case per the Senator's request. Neither Gardner's office nor the Colorado Springs City Attorney's Office opted to comment on the Indy
's story, though an audio recording ostensibly confirmed that the Senator had made the same request here.
“As I understood it, Sen. Gardner was requesting charges be dropped...?” a defendant, Candi Frank, asked the prosecutor, Shantel Withrow, who replied, “Yes, he did request that charges be dropped, but in reviewing the case, there is a violation of law that occurred and my office is the one that makes the ultimate decision.”
Despite that — and not having been privy to that recording — city spokesperson Kim Melchor says that Gardner's staff never actually made that request.
So the defendants are turning instead to the stated "victim" of their crime — Nor'Wood Development Group. They started an online petition asking the company, which owns the building where they allegedly trespassed, to ask the city attorney to drop charges.
We've put in a call to Nor'Wood to see if they've seen the petition and ask whether they intend to respond. We'll update if we hear back.
Find the whole petition here
. In part, it says:
Norwood Developers are listed as the "victims" in the case. This is a local developer making money from a tax payer funded representative. These women were simply in Senator Gardners [sic] office asking him to do the job he is paid to do with their tax dollars which go directly to Norwood from the rental of the office space.
Sign this petition today to tell Norwood to ask the city to drop the charges against these three women. Tell them that this is completely unacceptable and that they are most certainly not victims in this case. Staying silent while they are unjustly prosecuted is wrong.