Someone has quietly decided that a convicted felon who is suing the City of Aurora because its founding charter prohibits her from running for municipal office will be allowed to serve anyway should she she actually get elected.
The city clerk assured potential city council candidate Candace Bailey in a letter that the City of Aurora will not enforce that portion of the city code.
The city is not putting the question to the voters to revoke the provision, they just promised to turn a blind eye to the law voters enacted in 1961.
The July 1 letter was sent to Bailey and her lawyer at the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union from city clerk Kadee Rodriguez, and copied to all members of the city council.
The clerk says she was authorized by “special counsel to the city” to inform Bailey the charter would not be enforced.
“This means that your prior felony conviction which has been disclosed by you, is not relevant to your eligibility to be a candidate for and serve in municipal office in the city,” the letter said.
At the age of 22, Bailey pled guilty to second-degree assault charges in 1999 and served three years in prison.
Mark Silverstein, ACLU legal director, filed the lawsuit against the city in May arguing that a ban against former felons discriminated “particularly against people of color everywhere.”
A Westword article written several days after the letter was sent doesn’t mention that mysterious city officials waved a magic wand to make the charter provision barring convicted felons disappear.
Even though Silverstein notes:
“Aurora officials can’t just repeal part of the charter the way a city council can repeal an ordinance. If Ms. Bailey is to be allowed to run, a court has to tell Aurora it can’t enforce this unconstitutional provision. That’s why we’re asking Arapahoe County District Court to send that message to the city.”
Someone should have informed Aurora spokesperson Ryan Luby about the letter before she spoke to Westword.
Because Luby still thinks, “City officials must follow the city charter. Any changes to the charter require voter approval.”
Unless they have special counsel with a magic wand to make it disappear.