Wake-Up Call: Arrested development in sheriff deputy vote

Forget John Hancock: Next time you're asked to sign a petition, you can just put down your Michael Hancock. Someone -- and it definitely wasn't Denver city councilman Michael Hancock -- did just that when presented with a petition pushing a ballot measure that would change the Denver City Charter to give sheriff's deputies greater arrest powers.

Should that measure ever pass, the deputies may want to first handcuff FieldWorks, the Washington, D.C.-based company they paid to handle the petition drive, which did such a lousy job that only 22,058 of the almost 60,000 signatures were deemed valid.

Today's the deadline for FieldWorks and the deputies' union to clear up any questions, clean up the signatures (starting with taking off the alleged signature of Hancock, since the councilman is on record as opposing the measure) and turn in corrected petitions, if they still want to push for getting on a special February ballot. Or they could take their case to court.

Where it sounds like this case might land, anyway, since the Denver Clerk and Recorder has sent allegations of petition fraud to the Denver District Attorney's office.

If the deputies really want to collect crooks, they first have to prove that they can collect signatures. Without hiring crooks.

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