Marshall, Brodie win one
One serious allegation in the securities fraud indictment against local developers Ray Marshall and James Brodie has been dismissed. Fourth Judicial District Judge Barney Iuppa has tossed out a racketeering charge relating to the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act.
District Attorney Dan May downplays the dismissal, saying Iuppa granted the defense motion to deep-six the charge because "it was confusing."
"It's one count out of 33 counts," May says. "There's still 32 counts remaining."
Marshall and Brodie, operating as LandCo Equity Partners, shared in the city's deal to keep the U.S. Olympic Committee from moving. City officials have said the USOC deal played no part in the LandCo allegations, but land records suggest some deals cited in the indictment might have been intertwined with the LandCo-owned downtown building remodeled for the USOC.
In another motion, Marshall's attorneys, Pamela Mackey and Jeffrey Pagliuca of Denver, seek dismissal of the entire indictment, saying DA investigators and witnesses misrepresented facts to the grand jury.
"The misconduct by the government in this case is staggering," Marshall's attorneys write. "The prosecution knowingly elicited testimony from witnesses that was both false and misleading."
May says he can't comment on pending motions. The prosecution's response is due to be filed Friday. — PZ
Cruisers on the way
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa wants to hire 20 deputies after reducing payroll in recent years because of budget issues. Last week, spokeswoman Lt. Lari Sevene confirmed Maketa's intent, saying, "The sheriff is working on a plan to hire 20 deputies before the end of the year."
The revelation comes as Maketa's opponent in the Aug. 10 Republican primary, Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk, promises to beef up patrols by 20 percent if elected. Shirk says on his website that adding patrol deputies is a priority, considering El Paso County has 1,600 square miles of unincorporated area where deputies are first responders to emergencies and 911 calls. "Six to eight deputies per shift is not enough," the website says.
The Sheriff's Office's 2008 annual report says patrol has 61 deputies, 17 sergeants and three lieutenants who provide primary law enforcement services to about 160,000 citizens in unincorporated areas. While most law enforcement agencies have two sworn officers per 1,000 residents, the report says, Maketa's force operates at 0.7 deputies per 1,000 but still averages just over 12 minutes responding to calls. — PZ
Leigh exits mayor's race
Tim Leigh, a well-connected real estate company owner, sent an e-mail to supporters in recent days announcing that he's ending his candidacy for mayor. Leigh said he no longer believed he could balance work duties with mayoral commitments, were he elected.
Leigh's departure leaves at least two candidates in the April 2011 race: Dave Munger and Buddy Gilmore. The Gazette has reported that a recently registered candidate, Martin Belknap, apparently won't run after all, due to medical problems.
Other possible candidates are waiting to see if voters approve the "strong mayor initiative" in November. The initiative would give the mayor much more power and a bigger paycheck. Vice Mayor Larry Small says he's considering a candidacy. Councilor Scott Hente says he's thought about it, but not seriously. Councilor Jan Martin has long said she'd consider running.
"I think everybody on Council has a group of people telling them, 'You should run for mayor,'" Hente says. — JAS
Maes agrees to big fine
Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes has agreed to pay roughly $26,000 in campaign finance fines, a record in Colorado, after a Grand Junction man alleged Maes failed to list donors' occupations as required and paid himself for mileage without reporting it on campaign finance forms.
Christopher Klitzke filed the complaint in late May. The Grand Junction Sentinel reported Maes paid himself $44,837 for mileage since last summer. Maes agreed to pay a $2,838 fine for listing a contribution from a corporation, which is prohibited, and $11,250 for not listing donor occupations. Other fines stem from failure to report expenses for which fines are levied daily.
The fines might hamper Maes' low-budget campaign against Scott McInnis, who's raised more than $1 million. In a message to supporters, Maes says, "This suit is timed to be publicized in conjunction with the primary vote. It is our judgment to agree to the claims, which amount to parking tickets in the grand scheme of things." He urges backers to "stand strong" and "not be misled by these tactics." — PZ
Help decide Incline's fate
The Manitou Springs Incline is still on private property and illegal to hike — yet thousands hike the Incline every year. A plan is under way to make the Incline a legal, public trail. Interested? You can attend a meeting to discuss Incline issues.
The meetings will be at Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave. Sessions' focus will be as follows: traffic and parking, Tuesday, July 13, 6 to 9 p.m.; trails and trailhead, Wednesday, July 14, 6 to 9; and management and operations, Thursday, July 15, 6 to 9 p.m. For more, contact Manitou Mayor Pro Tem Aimee Cox at 385-6532 or firstname.lastname@example.org. — JAS
Bikes on Pikes Peak
Cyclists will finally have their chance to ride the highway to the top of Pikes Peak. The road, normally closed to bicycles, will be open Aug. 29 for the inaugural Assault on the Peak bike ride. The peak will be closed to cars for the event, which is open to up to the first 1,500 men and women 18 or older who register. Entry is $150.
The ride will begin in Manitou Springs' Memorial Park. Cyclists will climb a closed lane of U.S. 24 to Cascade before ascending the Pikes Peak Highway. In total, the ride ascends 24.5 miles and 7,700 vertical feet. For more information or to register, visit ridepikespeak.com. — JAS
Compiled by J. Adrian Stanley and Pam Zubeck