Residents seek investigation into county officials, actions

16

A document requesting a grand jury investigation into the actions of some Archuleta County officials and stating intent to sue those officials has been sent to the District Attorney’s Office for the 6th Judicial District.

The document, dated Sept. 5, is 20 pages and comes from Jeff Maehr and Tracy Salazar. It is addressed to District Attorney Todd Risberg and Deputy District Attorney Alex Lowe.

Staff of The SUN received the document the morning of Sept. 9.

The document addresses two concerns — the first relating to the actions of the Board of County Commissioners, County Attorney Todd Starr and County Clerk and Recorder June Madrid in March, when a group tried to have the county place 11 ballot issues relating to the constitution on the November ballot, and the second relating to Salazar’s inability to appear on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate for sheriff.

“We are writing to bring certain activities to the attention of you both, and to request access to the Grand Jury to present our documentation and facts on unconstitutional and criminal activities taking place in Archuleta County, and specifically, the BoCC (Michael Whiting, Clifford Lucero, Steve Wadley), the County Clerk, June Madrid, and County Attorney, Todd Starr (herein Defendants), and for an investigation into said activities,” the request begins.

The request continues, “A clear patter, of collusion and depravation of rights under color of law is taking place, and you are our public servant having taken an Oath of Office to uphold the Constitutions and Statutes of Colorado.”

Before delving into the two issues, the document states, “Attached herein is the preliminary evidence we present to you and we are doing the courtesy of including you in this process since this is what you are used to. We wish to work WITH you in establishing the lawful right of the People, especially when their rights are being deprived, and criminal actions are taking place against us.

“We are presenting just two complaints which the Grand Jury must be apprised of, without tampering, manipulation or other possible distractions. Investigations into the Grand Jury and process for the 6th Judicial District are unfolding presently.”

The first complaint included in the document concerned 11 ballot initiatives that the BoCC declined to put on the November ballot earlier this year.

According to the complaint, a group took 11 ballot initiatives to the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners to be placed on the November ballot and collected signatures backing up those petitions. However, the BoCC, under the advice of Starr, declined to put the initiatives on the ballot, stating that there was no provision in state statute allowing for citizen initiatives at the county level — a fact the proponents of the initiatives dispute.

The second complaint reads, “Our second complaint is in regard to bias and prejudice, and depravation of the rights of one of the citizens of Archuleta County who has been attempting to be placed on the ballot for Sheriff, but has consistently been thwarted by Madrid, who is also the mother of the Republican candidate for Sheriff.”

Madrid has previously stated that Salazar is a disqualified candidate per state law.

When asked about the timing of the complaint, Salazar wrote in an email to SUN staff, “We have tried to work with our local county government to resolve issues that concern the County and surrounding Towns, however our local government continues to choose to violate the civil and constitutional rights of every resident. We will not allow this corruption both criminal and civil to continue any longer. Archuleta County is a beautiful County and so are the people that reside within. We all deserve a an honest government and free elections, it are right.”

Salazar said the document has not been filed in any court and that he and Maehr are awaiting word from the District Attorney’s Office.

“However, at the advise of the F.B.I., we are preparing addional complaints to be filed with the Executive Branch of the Colorado State Government and or Federal Agencies, for Goverment Corruption and Election Fraud,” Salazar wrote.

As of Wednesday morning, Salazar said he had not received a response from any of the parties the document was sent to.

SUN staff attempted to contact Risberg, who was at a conference and unavailable for comment on Wednesday, and Starr, who was also not available for comment Wednesday.

For more information, see next week’s issue of The SUN.