Colorado’s news roundup: Report: Keyser canvasser says she forged signatures (06.09.16)
Here’s what’s going on around Colorado today:
DENVER — A canvasser says she forged voter signatures while collecting petitions to help former state Rep. Jon Keyser qualify for Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senate primary, a Denver TV station reported Thursday.
Maureen Moss told KUSA-TV she initially denied forging signatures when questioned by her employer, a contractor to the Keyser campaign.
Moss was arrested Wednesday after being charged with 34 counts of forgery. She was released without bond Thursday pending a Monday hearing. An attorney listed for Moss in court documents couldn’t immediately be reached by telephone.
Asked by KUSA about the charges, Moss replied, “I have forged signatures, yes.”
Keyser’s campaign said it didn’t know about any forgeries until they were reported in the news media.
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey alleges Moss submitted 34 forged voter signatures to Black Diamond Outreach. Moss told KUSA she denied any wrongdoing when her superiors asked about some suspect signatures. She said she was homeless at the time and feared losing her job.
Morrissey said registered voters in Denver, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties told investigators they never signed petitions for Keyser, even though their names appeared on notarized petitions submitted by Moss.
The investigation began after reports that fraudulent signatures were submitted to the secretary of state’s office by Keyser’s campaign — possibly jeopardizing Keyser’s chances of qualifying for the primary.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams initially ruled Keyser didn’t get enough signatures to make the primary. He reversed that ruling after Keyser obtained a court order saying he’d “substantially” met qualification rules.
Keyser faces El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn and businessmen Robert Blaha of Colorado Springs, Ryan Frazier of Aurora and Jack Graham of Fort Collins in the June 28 primary.
The winner will face Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in November.
Boulder in talks with Xcel to end push for municipal utility
BOULDER, Colo. — Boulder may end its push to form a municipal electric utility as part of a possible settlement to ongoing litigation with Xcel Energy.
The Daily Camera reports that both parties announced Wednesday that they are discussing a settlement that would have Xcel continue to provide electric services to Boulder customers.
For now, the city’s bid to municipalize has not been suspended. Instead Boulder is moving forward with its application to the state Public Utilities Commission while also engaging in settlement talks.
The city has been petitioning the commission to acquire certain Xcel facilities and create its own utility. The commission ruled in November that Boulder cannot acquire Xcel facilities that exclusively serve customers outside city limits but is allowing a supplemental application for the city to acquire some facilities.
Daughter of Aspen victim reaches deal in wrongful-death case
ASPEN, Colo. — The daughter of a prominent Aspen woman who was bludgeoned to death has reached a settlement deal in the wrongful-death claim she filed against the convicted killer’s widow.
The Aspen Daily News reports that attorneys filed a motion Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts that calls for Juliana Pfister to receive $850,000, the bulk of the $1 million life-insurance benefit Nancy Masson received after her husband William Styler killed himself in prison. The motion still needs approval from a judge.
Styler killed 57-year-old Nancy Pfister on Feb. 24, 2014, striking her with a hammer while she slept. Nancy Pfister’s parents co-founded the Buttermilk ski area.
Juliana Pfister sued Masson in February, claiming Masson helped her husband in the murder and that she is profiting from a book about the case.
Masson filed for bankruptcy last year.
Blue Angels pilot killed in crash being honored in Florida
DURANGO, Colo. — Durango is getting ready to honor a Blue Angels pilot killed in a crash in Tennessee last week.
Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss crashed near Nashville while taking off for a practice session ahead of a weekend air show.
The Durango Herald reports that Kuss will be buried in a private ceremony Saturday in his hometown. Residents are expected to line the streets to honor him as the motorcade passes through the city.
The ceremony will include a flyover by the Checkerboards, Kuss’ unit before joining the Blue Angels.
Task force releases footage of Loveland shooting suspect
LOVELAND, Colo. — A task force investigating a series of shootings in northern Colorado has released a surveillance video showing a motorcyclist being followed by an orange pickup truck moments before the rider was shot at.
The Reporter-Herald reports that the video released by the Northern Colorado Shooting Task Force shows a motorcyclist in Loveland being followed by the shooter in a 1973 to 1987 Chevy or GMC orange pickup truck. The footage occurs moments before the motorcyclist was shot at on the evening of June 3, 2015.
The task force says the motorcyclist wasn’t injured but the shooter shot and killed William Connole about 12 minutes later.
The task force is trying to identify and speak with anyone who was in the area at the time of the shooting.
Former Colorado sheriff in court to face extortion charges
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A former Colorado sheriff and two subordinates made their first court appearances since being indicted on charges including extortion, false imprisonment, official misconduct and kidnapping.
Terry Maketa, former Undersheriff Paula Presley and former sheriff’s commander Juan San Agustin said little during the Thursday hearing.
Maketa resigned in 2014 from his post in El Paso County. A grand jury indicted all three in May.
Maketa and Presley are accused of threatening to terminate a contract with a company if the company didn’t fire an employee.
Maketa, Presley and San Augustin also are accused of coercing a woman who was involved in a domestic dispute with a deputy to recant her story. The woman was then arrested.
Maketa led the department for 12 years, the last of which was marked by accusations of sexual favoritism and intimidation.
Cotter agrees to pay nearly $1M for mill cleanup costs
CANON CITY, Colo. — The Environmental Protection Agency says the owner of a shuttered southern Colorado uranium mill has agreed to pay nearly $1 million in cleanup-related costs.
The EPA said Wednesday that the money from Cotter Corp. would pay for oversight of an investigation into contamination at the mill near Canon City between 2012 and 2014.
Cotter previously agreed to cover EPA and state cleanup costs since 2014.
The EPA will take comment on Cotter’s proposed $957,604 payment for the next month before being able to accept it.
Cotter processed uranium for nuclear weapons and fuel at the mill from 1958 to 1978.
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