Boomtown Rats

For a few dullards moreJOHN JACOB DINGLEHEIMER JORG PETER SCHMITZ Occupation: Shlock artist/German national

The close-brush artist of LoDo was known mostly for his insufferable science-fiction-themed paintings until he showed up in the BMW that ran Rocky Mountain News columnist Greg Lopez off the road at 100 miles per hour. Two days later seatmate and Boettcher heir Spicer Breeden punched his own ticket to the great trust fund in the sky--after popping a cap into his beloved pet dog for good measure. But the not-so-well-bred Breeden left behind a suicide note insisting he was "not driving the vehical [sic]." All eyes then turned to Herr Schmitz, who showed up to have his photo taken at the Denver Police Department but refused to answer any questions. The party boy, indicted by a grand jury on a vehicular homicide charge, goes to trial in February. Meanwhile, wanna buy a crappy painting, cheap?

Most Notable Achievement: Grandfather defended Nazis during Nuremberg war-crimes trials.

Most Notable Disappointment: Art lovers continue to confuse his paintings with bad album-cover art from the 1970s.

Quote: "I'm doing a good job of being disappearing."

Occupation: Denver director of housing and bourbon development
Sal was paid $90,000 a year to run the Denver Housing Authority, but in his case, the television lights were on and no one was home. How else to explain his September 3 appearance on Channel 9, during which he was seen nabbing a bottle of hooch at a liquor store and then staggering to his car for a quick sprint back to the office--all during working hours? Staff members "relieved him of his duties" before he could relieve himself on the office rug. Then everybody's favorite public servant left for a two-week dryout stint. Carpio later appeared with his family for a teary TV interview, thus completing the Oprah-era cycle of redemption.

Most Notable Achievement: Once claimed to have swallowed worm found at bottom of Schlitz Malt Liquor bottle.

Most Notable Disappointment: Shortly after Carpio returned to work, agency shelled out $50,000 to settle sexual-harassment suit against him.

Quote: "I've been the cause of a lot of this myself."

Occupation: Anchor/fashion plate
The "Pitbull," a former radio traffic reporter from Toronto, blew into town like a hot wind, steaming up Denver broadcasting with her tight-fitting outfits and nose for "real news." So what if her knowledge of Colorado politics was just slightly narrower than the lapels on that striking number she donned for Channel 7's election-night coverage? The station, after all, was out to attract young viewers who don't care about news, anyway--which may explain why it ran a commercial in which a guilt-ridden woman confessed to a priest that she really liked watching Natalie despite what everyone else said.

Most Notable Accomplishment: Actual Catholic priest forced to apologize for going along with commercial stunt.

Most Notable Disappointment: Weathercaster Pam Daale ruined show's hip new "stand-up" format by appearing in wheelchair.

Quote (from Denver Post columnist Tomas Romero): "How dare they air such compost?"

Occupation: Basketball player/deep thinker
The only thing worse than Abdul-Rauf's matador defense last year was his sanctimonious refusal to stand for the national anthem, a decision the $2.6-million-a-year player explained by saying he felt "oppressed." After the NBA suspended him without pay, it looked like Abdul-Rauf was going to put his money where his butt was. But apparently in his world, moolah talks just as loud as principles. After enduring an entire one-game suspension, Mahmoud decided to stand after all--after the league agreed to give back the $31,700 he would have been fined for missing the game.

Most Notable Accomplishment: Traded up to the Sacramento Kings.
Most Notable Disappointment: Commercial endorsements dried up after he called American flag a symbol of "tyranny."

Quote: "There's some good that came ou0t of it for me. I don't know about everyone else."

Occupation: Radio DJs/deep thinkers
After using Mahmoud's star-spangled snub to whip their listeners into a frenzy, the KBPI morning crew marched into a mosque on South Parker Road blaring the national anthem on a trumpet and a bugle. When asked to leave by a worshiper, the DJs repeated the song at an even more earsplitting level. Denver's religious leaders lined up to condemn the stunt, and KBPI's station manager later apologized for the "ill-conceived attempt at humor." Beaty and Myers pled guilty to disorderly conduct and agreed to a $500 fine.

Most Notable Accomplishment: Traded to radio station in Phoenix.
Most Notable Disappointment: Abdul-Rauf flap overshadowed brilliant routine comparing Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin's penis to a Tootsie Pop.

Quote (from a local Muslim leader): "We will allow the system to proceed and will work with them on their public service."

Occupation: Self-employed typist
Linda came by her paranoia naturally, being the daughter of state senator MaryAnne Tebedo (who once noted that teenage pregnancy rates drop off radically at age 25) and the sister of Kevin Tebedo, the Colorado for Family Values leader turned Patriot commando. The third Tebedo made a few headlines of her own this year after being arrested by Teller County sheriff's officers for refusing to show up for a court date on a traffic offense. Linda, who tools around in a Grand Am with homemade license plates, refused to identify herself, claiming she's a "sovereign" who doesn't need a driver's license or a Social Security card. When the cops didn't see it her way, she pulled a 41-day hitch in jail rather than let a friend bail her out.

Most Notable Accomplishment: Never did register Grand Am with the DMV. Most Notable Disappointment: Expected "bologna sandwiches and a cold, dreary cell," but ended up liking the food.

Quote (from her mother, MaryAnne): "I was just freaked out when I heard the Constitution had been suspended."

Occupation: Consulting bulimic
The dashing Ms. Pena has resembled a character from a "disease of the week" movie for some time now, coughing up her binge-and-purge diary to Road Runners of America and generally serving as a poster child for the icky-fingers crowd. But this year she went all out, signing off on a TV project that starred Wings coquette Crystal Bernard as a woman in trouble with a capital "P"--and that stood for "Puke." The three-hankie script of Dying to Be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Pena Story left fans in tears--and the rest of the viewing audience sick to its stomach.

Most Notable Accomplishment: Got Esai Morales to play steady Feddie as swinging "playboy" type.

Most Notable Disappointment: Toilet-cam developed for vomit scenes failed to live up to expectorations.

Quote: "What goes down must come up.

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