This has past the point of ridiculousness. Virtually every elected Democrat in Adams County has now been tied to corruption in the last year. From County Commissioner Alice Nichol allegedly receiving cash payments of $10,000 from a company that charged the county to pave roads that didn't exist, to County Assessor Gil Reyes saving his campaign donors nearly a million bucks in taxable income through lowering their assessed property values, if you've got a D next to your name in Adams County you're probably corrupt.
Today we add news of RTD Director Ken Riley from The Denver Post, who has apparently fled the state after illegally spending five figures of union money on his own RTD election. The news of Riley's troubles first appeared in a tweet from anonymous (& apparently very well informed) twitter user RockyMtnShadow on August 22nd that said that Riley had been "abruptly removed" from his position of Executive Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the largest union in the country.
That tweet was followed up with detailed reporting by Adams County conservative blog Tonys Rants two weeks ago, a local blog we profiled on these pages back in April, praising it for its "assiduous" coverage of local corruption in ADCO. Complete Colorado called Tonys Rants story on Ken Riley a "must read."
Today The Denver Post's award-winning investigative reporter, David Olinger, reports Riley is now under criminal investigation for his use of AFSCME money on his campaign, making him no less than the third Democrat in the county to come under criminal investigation this year.
Olinger also reports Riley resigned in an email Monday evening, though his location is still not known.
These three criminal investigations of Adams County Democrats are in addition to a slew of other ethical and legal issues for Obama's party north of Denver. Let's recount a few more eye-popping examples of ADCO Democrats' extensive and almost unbelievable corruption. Remember: this is only corruption exposed in the last year.
- Sherriff Doug Darr (D-Adams County): Adams County was forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case where the jury found Sheriff Darr violated the First Amendment rights of his campaign opponent, Mark Nicastle. Darr was found to have demoted Nicastle and also launched a number of unjustified internal investigations against Nicastle with the aim of damaging his candidacy. It was so bad even liberal lawsuit mavens Colorado Ethics Watch called for his resignation. What did Governor Hickenlooper do? He appointed Sheriff Darr to his gaming commission after sacking the entire existing commission.
- Sheriff Doug Darr (D-Adams County) A CBS4 investigation found that "the Adams County Sheriff’s Office has been doling out lucrative, taxpayer-funded summer jobs only to sons and daughters of department members."
- County Surveyor Tim Thoms (D-Adams County): A CBS4 investigation found that "much of the county's car washing business was going to a car wash owned by county surveyor, Tim Thoms." This illegal conflict of interest spurred ADCO to discontinue paying for county cars to be washed for 30 days while they determined how to avoid future corruption.
- County Assessor Gil Reyes (D-Adams County) Reyes pled guilty and paid a $300 fine for illegally accepting sports tickets from a campaign donor. Reyes was found to have saved the donor who gave him the tickets and other donors over $800,000 in taxes through lower property value assessments. The Colorado Department of Property Taxation found Reyes' actions clearly violated the law (PDF).
- County Commissioner Alice Nichol (D-Adams County) has been accused of selling no-bid county road paving contracts to campaign contributors and of placing virtually her entire family in the employ of the county. A lawyer for the federally-indicted company, Quality Paving and Resurfacing, has claimed Nichol received a secret $10,000 cash payment for her help.
All of this comes after last year's discovery that County Treasurer Diane Christner (D-Adams County) was using taxpayer resources to fund her campaign, the County Coroner James Hibbard (D-Adams County) was sued for sexual harassment of subordinates, and Adams County Democrat Party Treasurer Elmer "Butch" Hicks was caught embezzling party funds.
Is there any Democrat in Adams County who has not been found to be corrupt? ADCO is beginning to make Chicago look like a model of fair and open elections.