The 2002 Hall of Shame

Let the blame game begin!

The Tom-Tom club beats on. One minute he's willing to call out U.S. troops to patrol the borders ("Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we should have open borders. But at least we should have the public debate"); the next he's collecting donations for another illegal alien, a sick boy in need of a bone-marrow transplant ("I'm stunned that [my involvement is] newsworthy. I was touched like anyone else," he says). His public stance does not preclude private feelings, Tancredo proudly notes.

A salute to Tancredo's internal combustion engine -- and the return of mandatory "Native" bumper stickers on all cars.

John Oglesby

Rich Barry

Denver parking czar John Oglesby played with fire and got burned. This past January, recognizing a chance to capitalize on Denver's self-proclaimed status as a "world-class city," the man with the plan decided to raise meter rates, extend meter hours, expand metered areas and crack down on parking scofflaws.

Unfortunately, he forgot to get tough with his own bad self, and when reports emerged that Oglesby had threatened underlings for leaking confidential information to the mayor's office, had arranged for five of his own parking ducats to disappear and was still on the payroll of a California company that sold the very parking meters he was pushing for the city, Mayor Wellington Webb began to contemplate a new use for the Denver boot. In the meantime, Stephanie Foote, manager of the Denver Department of Public Works, parked Oglesby beneath a deputy manager.

Soon, Big John -- who was once captured by a TV camera, waddling from his car and attempting to greet one of his ticket tormentors -- was put on paid leave while various investigatory bodies probed his behavior. But when Oglesby finally resigned in September, it was without fanfare. Or charges.

Still, the man with the expired career left his legacy. Downtown shoppers who now have to come up with two bits for every ten minutes of parking know they've been Oglesbyed.

James H. "Buster" Snider

Let's give a hand to an old vice cop whose fires are still stoked. Retired Denver policeman James "Buster" Snider was seventy years old when he was caught soliciting sex from an undercover policewoman last February. Yes, that Snider -- the same firebrand who once set a department record for writing 112 traffic citations during a weekend shift. And the same burnout who was fired in August 1984 when a woman accused him of raping her in his patrol car after a stop. Snider, who claimed the vehicular collusion was consensual, was acquitted by a jury in that case -- but his firing by the city was upheld. And after twelve years of legal wrangling over a civil lawsuit, Denver settled with Snider's victim for $75,000.

In this year's incident, Snider said he was looking for help with his lawn business -- in February! -- when the woman asked him for $20. "I thought she was asking me for some money, and she said nothing about doing anything sexual," he said, insisting that he was joking when he told the woman he'd give her $40 to go to bed with him.

Instead, Buster was busted...again. In June, he quietly pleaded guilty to a charge of soliciting prostitution. He was ordered to pay $529 in fines and court costs and given a deferred judgment. If he stays out of legal trouble for six months, the charges will be dropped.

Anyone out there want to write him a ticket?

Koleen Brooks

Take Koleen Brooks -- please! But just don't take the red-hot redhead too seriously.

"Everyone knew I was a stripper fifteen years ago," said the then-mayor of Georgetown. "Half the town came down to watch me." But Brooks's problematic exposure went much more than skin deep.

This past winter, Brooks became embroiled in criminal charges that she'd lied about an assault on her enhanced person. The picturesque mountain town reeled after its chief executive claimed she was attacked on February 16 as she was returning home from her Dare to Be Different salon. For proof, she displayed scratches on her arms and neck from an unknown object wielded by an unknown assailant. The incident was another skirmish in the war the old guard had been waging against the mayor since her election in 2001, Brooks claimed. And when investigators found her complaint groundless and charged her instead, Brooks claimed she was the victim of a conspiracy that included local police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

The 38-year-old Brooks was ousted in an April 2 recall election amid charges that she'd returned to form and bared her breasts at a local watering hole, had created a hostile working environment and made unsubstantiated allegations against town officials.

Down but not out, Brooks was later touted as press secretary for Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ralph Shnelvar, on a fax sent to the media on Brooks's letterhead: "Defender of all that is right...and having fun doing it!" But Brooks stalked off from an August 9 press conference on the steps of the State Capitol, where Shnelvar had hoped that she would doff her shirt, exposing photos of his opponents -- Governor Bill Owens and Democrat Rollie Heath, "two real boobs" -- on her chest.

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