Cory Voorhis, ex-ICE agent, sort of running for under sheriff job in Adams County

Cory Voorhis is still fighting to get his job back after being fired as an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent for blowing the whistle in controversial fashion on a plea-bargaining practice. But he's also got his eye on a new gig. He's actively campaigning on behalf of James R. Fariello, an American Constitution Party candidate for Adams County sheriff -- and he confirms that Fariello has promised to appoint him as under sheriff if he wins.

To recap Voorhis's story:

Back in 2006, the agent was troubled by what he saw as the common practice of charging illegal immigrants who'd committed serious crimes with agricultural trespass, which he describes on his legal defense website as "a low level felony that does not generally result in deportation." He subsequently gave information about one such case -- it involved Carlos Estrada Medina, an accused heroin dealer who was later arrested in California on suspicion of sexually abusing a child -- to Congressman Bob Beauprez, who was running for Colorado governor. The information was gleaned from a restricted-access database.

Although Voorhis says he provided Beauprez the info due to the latter's role as a Congressman and acted as a whistleblower, Beauprez used it in attack ads aimed at Democratic candidate Bill Ritter, who was alleged to have used the agricultural trespass charge for Estrada Medina when he was Denver's district attorney. But the Ritter campaign turned the tables on Beauprez by putting the focus on the accessing of the database -- an action for which Voorhis was subsequently fired, although he was acquitted in a case that charged him with criminal wrongdoing.

Voorhis's firing and prosecution became a major factor in former Ritter aide Stephanie Villafuerte's bid to become U.S. Attorney -- and she ultimately withdrew her name for the job. But despite being namechecked in Congress by Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Voorhis lost the first round in his bid to get his job back.

The battle goes on, Voorhis says. "On July 9, I filed an appeal to the full Merit System Protection Board" -- the body that is hearing his complaint about improper dismissal. "It's an 87-page document up on my legal defense website, and it points out a bunch of erroneous factual and law conclusions the judge made in ruling." He adds that he's "anxious for the full board to weigh in," but "there's no set time frame" for them to do so. For that reason, "out of an abundance of caution, I'm not going to get my hopes up for a decision until around this time next year."

In the meantime, Voorhis is beating the drum for Fariello, who he describes as "a longtime law-enforcement veteran who's throwing his hat into the ring. I know him, I know what he stands for, what he's about, and he's a really good guy.

"I'm not a candidate for anything," Voorhis stresses. "But Jim's consulted with me on some law-enforcement issues up there, and he's said he would appoint me under sheriff if he's elected."

Among the issues of note for Voorhis: the agricultural trespass plea.

"Adams County is a troubled jurisdiction," he allows. "The agricultural-trespass shenanigans were going on up there in a big fashion, and that needs to change -- and I'd like to be a part of that."

As Voorhis concedes, "the DA's office is the office that ultimately decides what charges are proferred in a plea agreement. But most certainly the law enforcement agency that brings the charges can expose that kind of thing. They can see if there are bona fide cases against criminals that are being reduced to that plea. In each and every one of the cases that I've seen, the sole purpose of the agricultural-trespass plea was obstructing immigration laws in order to prevent a person from being removed from the country -- and law enforcement has an obligation to stand up and say, 'This is wrong.'

"That hasn't happened anywhere in the metro area. But Jim is a man of impeccable character, and if he sees a situation in which an agricultural trespass plea represents the obstruction of justice, he would expose that."

As a so-called third party candidate, Fariello is by no means assured of victory, but Voorhis is doing all he can to help. In the meantime, he says, "I still have to survive and get by, just like everybody else. We're going through life trials day to day and doing the best we can to make ends meet."

Page down to read Voorhis's full pitch on behalf of Fariello:

In the upcoming two thousand and ten elections, the voters of Adams County will have a third choice for the Office of Adams County Sheriff. James R. Fariello, a life long law enforcement officer and resident of Adams County has accepted the nomination by the American Constitution Party for candidate for Adams County Sheriff. On May 15, 2010 the American Constitution Party endorsed this candidate for this third party choice in this election. James is a life long resident of Colorado with the past 40 years mostly being spent in Adams County. James has in the past been a candidate for the office of Adams County Sheriff as a Republican. That election bid was made against William Shear in a past Adams County Election for Sheriff. James also ran as a candidate of the Republican Party for the Office of Coroner in Adams County in two different past elections against Jack Dewey.

James R. Fariello at this time also proudly announces his choice for a running mate to be his Under Sheriff. Mr. Cory Voorhis, a former ICE Senior Special Agent has accepted the challenge to be his associate and second in command. Cory has a similar background and training in the field of law enforcement. Both men are well qualified to be the guiding force of the Adams County Sheriff's Department and highly compliment each other as a team. Cory has the same base core values as James and these two gentlemen will be a team to be reckoned with. With this type of outstanding leadership at the Adams County Sheriffs' Department the voters in 2010 will have a team devoted to them. Anyone that loves justice, respects human rights and fair play and wants to have their elected officials be held totally responsible and accountable to them will vote for this team. Voters that believe in the Federal and State Constitutions will find this team very hard to overlook when those basic rights are threatened by elected bureaucrats that fight to take away your God given rights. In 2010 your best choice for Sheriff in Adams County will be James R. Fariello.

The third choice has been missing in past elections but is now available for your consideration and vote in 2010. Your vote will not be thrown away by voting for a third choice candidate for change but will reflect a growing concern for elected official to represent those that elected them. All promises made will be kept and the oath of office that will be taken will be kept and held in the highest esteem. It appears that elected Federal and State politicians that were empowered by voters in the last election want to take away your basic rights in the name of security. Do they know what is best for you or do you know what is best you and your family? You are the only one that knows what is best for you and your loved ones. We will be there to fight for you and your rights. Ask the hard questions of all the candidates and go for your feeling of real security.

James R. Fariello and Cory Voohis respectfully thank you for taking the time to consider them as your choice for a back to basics in law enforcement. The voters will regain control of this local office that is so essential in protecting so many basic rights that are under attack by special interest groups and officials who couldn't care less about you, your family and your rights.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts