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No fraud in Castle Rock election petitions

6/16/2016 2:08:53 PM

The Office of the District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District has completed its investigation into allegations of fraudulent petitions related to a recall election for the Castle Rock City Council.

On June 3, 2016, attorney Scott Gessler submitted a letter to the District Attorney on behalf of his client, Castle Rock City Councilwoman Renee Valentine.  Specifically, the letter indicated that signatures appearing on a recall petition seeking Valentine’s removal from office might contain forged signatures.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman is the designated elections investigation prosecutor, and he requested that District Attorney Investigator Bart Dorscheid investigate the matter.  That investigation has now concluded.  Dorscheid contacted the people whose signatures were suspected of being forged. Each of them identified their signature on the petition and told Investigator Dorscheid that they remembered signing it.

Both Orman and Dorscheid have thus concluded that there were no violations of any criminal election law associated with the petitions referenced in Gessler’s letter, and the matter is now considered closed by the DA’s office.

“The District Attorney is the primary office that investigates criminal election law complaints.  We take allegations of criminal election law violations extremely seriously, which is why I have assigned an experienced and knowledgeable team to investigate and assess all complaints quickly and efficiently,” said District Attorney George Brauchler.  “In this case we completed our investigation in 10 days and had a completed investigation report two days later.  Due to the time frames involved in the election process, I have personally directed staff to make completing such investigations a priority.  Because election law violations strike at the core of our democratic process, I am always gratified when my team finds that nobody broke the law, which is the case here.”