Off Limits

House party: Kevin Marchman, the former head of the Denver Housing Authority who went on to become a public-housing wunderkind in the Clinton administration, apparently had more than family reunions on his mind when he returned to Denver last winter to spend more time with his kin. Marchman, who resigned his assistant-secretary position at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., last February even though he'd gained a national reputation as a visionary for advocating the razing of Chicago's aging housing projects, is setting up his own business in Colorado. And in a shocking development for a former government bureaucrat, he's going to be...a consultant!

One of the first clients lined up by Marchman's KMX Partners, which filed incorporation papers with the secretary of state October 7, has an equally familiar ring: It's prominent local bond house George K. Baum & Company, home to Denver school-board member and Denver Broncos bag man Lee White. According to disclosure forms filed by Baum, the bond firm, which specializes in public-sector bond issues, plans to use Marchman for "marketing and consulting services, primarily in the areas of housing and urban redevelopment." As compensation, he'll get a percentage of revenues the firm derives from "certain new clients"--presumably those whose business he steers toward his new pals at Baum. Welcome home, Mr. Marchman--and don't let the revolving door hit you on the way in.

An open-and-shutterbug case: Anxious for some action in the Ramsey case? Grab a camera and see what develops.

After all, the first people arrested in connection with JonBenet Ramsey's death were not murderers, but a onetime Boulder County sheriff's deputy and his hapless dupe at a local photo-processing lab, who lifted coroner's office pics that the former deputy then sold to the Globe (resulting in an early, and idiotic, call for a Boulder boycott of supermarkets carrying the tabloid). The photo clerk, who was paid a whopping $200 for his part in the nefarious deed, was later rearrested, this time for indecent exposure, after he passed out naked outside his home, next to a popular Boulder County running path.

At the same time the Globe was snatching up the illicit coroner's shots, photographer Randy Simons was making a legit sale to Sygma Photo Agency of his portfolio from a June 1996 studio shoot with JonBenet. Simons sold the glamour-puss shots of the little beauty princess, which were subsequently reproduced around the world, for a paltry $7,500; his only motivation, he explained, was gaining exposure that would lead to the arrest of a killer. Instead, Simons himself was arrested last week in eastern Colorado on, yes, charges of indecent exposure.

Next on the hit parade was Boulder photographer Stephen Miles, branded as John Ramsey's major suspect in the National Enquirer's October 21, 1997, epic, "Dad: We Know Who Did It." That story made the tabloid and Ramsey--talk about strange bedfellows!--co-defendants in a libel suit filed by Miles, who's not a convicted sex offender, as the story alleged, but was arrested a decade ago for possessing photographs of naked teenage boys.

John Ramsey traveled to Boulder this week to give a deposition in that case. Miles's attorney, Lee Hill, was prohibited from asking Ramsey about the events surrounding his daughter's death--but then, Ramsey has yet to discuss that subject, or anything else, with the grand jury investigating his daughter's death.

Boulder smolder: Everyone was on his and her best behavior last week at the Boulder Press Club's twentieth-anniversary dinner--but then, the event wasn't catered by Pasta Jay's restaurateur Jay Elowsky, who ensured his own place in Ramsey history last year by taking a baseball bat to two engineers he mistook for members of the media. Instead, assorted panelists attempted unsuccessfully to avoid mentioning JonBenet while discussing freedom of the press. That freedom apparently includes Boulder professor Michael Tracey's right to make a Ramsey-friendly documentary about the case and then be peeved when ABC didn't buy it. And correspondent Roger O'Neil's right to be irritated when NBC laid off 300 employees and shut down its Denver bureau, an action excused by the $15 million-a-show tab the network's picking up to keep hospital weeper ER, even though NBC logged record profits last year.

Also on the Boulder panel was lawyer and Saturday KOA yakker Dan Caplis, who was free to attend because he's no longer in partnership with Scott Robinson, the high-profile attorney and occasional legal pundit who's currently trying a wrongful-death civil suit filed by Jeff Truax's family in Denver District Court. The marriage between the two lawyers lasted about a year, but Caplis says he needed more room and more space--and Robinson, a "lone wolf," didn't really need him. "I respect the hell out of him for that Truax case," Caplis says of Robinson's effort to hold the city accountable for the Denver cops who pumped Truax and his car full of lead. "Most people don't understand what's involved. That's gutsy."

Rocky Mountain buys: Hustler publisher Larry Flynt reports that there's been plenty of interest since he took out a full-page ad in the Washington Post offering a million bucks to anyone who can prove an adulterous affair with a current member of Congress or another top federal official. But the offer isn't good for everyone. For example, Flynt says, it wouldn't apply to a fling with "a freshman congressman or an unknown from Colorado."

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