Suit yourself: Last week the Justice Department announced that the number of hate crimes reported to police had dropped across the country, including in Colorado. In 1993 the state reported 166 incidents, according to FBI figures; in 1994 there were 98. But one of those had already fallen from being branded as among Colorado's most venal hate crimes--thirteen felony charges and plenty of publicity--to a mere traffic offense. Timing is everything.

The day before the Justice Department made its announcement, Evergreen resident William Quigley made his own--by filing a $5 million lawsuit in Jefferson Country District Court against Candace and Mitchell Aronson, the neighbors who accused him of ethnic intimidation and taped the Quigley family's phone calls to collect evidence of anti-Semitism, as well as two of their lawyers and the head of the Anti-Defamation League. Although the Jeffco DA's office relied on those tapes when it charged Quigley with ethnic intimidation, the DA ultimately dismissed all charges but a traffic citation.

Sounds like a good plot for a movie. Luckily, Quigley's in the right place to pitch it. As vice-president of marketing/new business for United Artists, he's in charge of the renovation of the Continental Theatre, scheduled for a big-bash announcement next week.

That dog won't hunt: For all the weeping and wailing when accused pet poisoner Dan Winter failed to show in Wheat Ridge Municipal Court last week, his non-appearance was no big surprise. Abe Hutt, Winter's attorney, had arranged in advance to fax in his client's "not guilty" plea and says there was nothing unusual about it. "It's just the way municipal court works," Hutt adds.

But try telling that to Denver Post columnist Chuck Green. In fact, Hutt says he did, calling Green the night before the much-publicized (by Green, among others) arraignment to let him know that Winter was a likely no-show. Even the owners of the late Keko and Snowy were told Winter might not appear, confirms Rick Chinisci. But that didn't stop the Chinisci family from showing up--the two daughters decked out in their dead dogs' collars--at court, carrying a blow-up photo of their dearly departed, as well as enlarged copies of Green's columns, for the TV cameras. And now, of course, there's one more column: Last Tuesday Green offered a piece describing the courtroom drama when Winter didn't arrive--that conveniently omitted any mention of Hutt's advance notice.

Mall in the family: Supermodel Christie Brinkley and Telluride developer Ricky Taubman were flying high a year ago. After surviving a helicopter crash in the mountains outside the ritzy resort, Brinkley shed hubby Billy Joel and wound up exchanging vows with Taubman at a winter wedding on the ski slopes.

But it's all been downhill from there. The couple has landed in a New York divorce court battling over custody and other, non-maternal material assets. As it turned out, the mogul mogul wasn't nearly as flush as he seemed. According to court documents, Taubman's broke--and Brinkley, who loaned him considerable sums of cash before they married and had a son, may never see the money. But given what she thought was her soon-to-be-hubby's collateral, she can be forgiven for thinking he was a safe bet. Brinkley reportedly had gotten the idea--perhaps from Taubman himself--that he's related to the Taubman Company that owns beaucoup shopping centers, including the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Denver's number-one tourist attraction.

He isn't.


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