A new twist in coverage of Stephanie Villafuerte's nomination as U.S. Attorney.
KHOW radio host Peter Boyles has devoted a great deal of airtime to this tale (I've joined him to speak about the subject on numerous occasions), and as such, he's become a hero to those who believe Villafuerte and her supporters have been less than truthful in recounting disputed events dating back to 2006, and a villain to Villafuerte backers. And now, he's been named, and portrayed critically, in a letter to Denver Police Department records coordinator Mary Dulacki by Dick Reeve, chief deputy district attorney and general counsel for the Denver DA's office.
The letter's on view below.
The document was prompted by recent reports questioning whether a threat mentioned by Villafuerte and DA's office member Chuck Lepley was made against Bill Ritter when he was running for governor. Among the doubters: Colorado GOP boss Dick Wadhams, who called Ritter, Villafuerte and the Denver District Attorney's Office "liars" in this space.
Earlier this week, Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman sent Wadhams a letter noting that the DPD did indeed have knowledge of such a threat, and included a letter sent in 2008 to then-KOA employee Todd Shepherd outlining it.
The account in the Shepherd letter differed in some of its particulars from the way the threat had been portrayed previously by Ritter (in a KOA talk-show appearance) and Lepley (in testimony in a case against former ICE agent Cory Voorhis), but it established that a number of police representatives had been contacted about the topic.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Support Our Journalism
On December 2, around the same time Whitman shipped his letter to Wadhams, Reeve sent a note to Dulacki, with a copy of the Shepherd letter attached. In the text, he goes after Boyles by name, implying that the host has known about the existence of the Shepherd letter for more than a year and therefore shouldn't have implied that "the threat situation is and was fiction."
In addition, Reeve refers to "one radio host likely defaming Mr. Lepley by making the unfounded, outrageous and extremely offensive accusation that this threat situation did not occur and Mr. Lepley committed perjury in U.S. District Court in his testimony before Judge Kane."
Here's the full text of the letter. A response from Boyles will be forthcoming.
Mary Dulacki Records Coordinator Manager of Safety Office Denver Department of Safety 1331 Cherokee Street, #320 Denver, 80204
Re: Recent Media Attention to Possible Threat Situation During 2006 Governor's Race
Dear Ms. Dulacki:
Out of the recent attention by certain Denver news outlets to a possible threat situation that apparently arose in early October, 2006 at the Bill Ritter for Governor campaign headquarters I have heard that your office, or the Denver Police Department, may have received one or more Colorado Criminal Justice Records Acts requests for documentation concerning that matter.
I believe at least one media outlet has reported that the Denver Police Department has no records concerning this possible threat situation. Apparently that outlet is also claiming that because no records exist, therefore, the threat situation is and was ifction. This is an especially interesting and a questionable point because it appears that the same media organization (ClearChannel Communications -- KOA Radio and KHOW Radio) received official documentation from your office in February, 2008, indicating there had been a formal Denver Police Department response to a possible threat situation involving Governor Ritter and his campaign headquarters. (see attached letter, dated February 22, 2008, to Mr. Todd Shepherd at KOA)
While I have no personal knowledge of whether or not any records were ever generated in connection with the Denver Police response to the situation, I also do not know whether such records, if they ever did exist, might have been conveyed by a prior federal court order-consent decree that regulates and limits retention of certain types of records or information by the Denver Police Department.
In researching certain matters that occurred after the motions hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Kane in the federal prosecution matter, U.S. v. Cory Voorhis, in early February 2008, we determined you sent this office a copy of a written response you transmitted on February 22, 2008 to a request for records apparently tendered to you by a research associate and colleague of radio host Peter Boyles. That associate/colleague's name was Todd A. Shepherd at KOA radio. (see attached)
Notably, the letter identified to Mr. Shepherd and his associates the names of at least three Denver Police Officers at the rank of Lieutenant, or above, who became officially involved in the handling of the possible threat situation. Your letter also addresses, in outline form, Mr. Lepley's role in initially contacting Denver Police; responses by the Denver Police Department to the reported threat situation, including increased patrols of the campaign headquarters; and situation briefings provided at DPD District Six patrol roll calls.
The letter notes that Denver First Assistant District Attorney Charles Lepley first reported the possible threat situation to the Denver Police Department on or about October 9, 2006. Generally, it appears from your letter that the Denver Police Department took the possible threat report with appropriate seriousness. The letter further explains that where no request for the filing of charges was made in such circumstances (here, by the Ritter campaign) no written record of the incident would normally be generated by the Denver Police Department.
You may recall that Mr. Lepley testified, in general terms, about this threat situation during the Voorhis motions hearing in federal court on February 1, 2008. He testified that after being contacted by Stephanie Villafuerte of the Ritter campaign about the possible threats, he had reported and helped coordinate the relaying of information regarding the threat situation just as he had done in numerous prior possible threat situations over the preceding almost thirty years. He stated these prior matters involved judges, political figures, defense attorneys, or district attorney personnel. He also stated that on October 9, 2006, he made contact with or had attempted to make contact with various Denver Police personnel from the Chief to Deputy or Division Chiefs, to a couple of Commanders. (again, this is covered in your letter to Todd Shepherd) Those contacts were made to inform the Denver Police command of the situation and to determine who should be contacted for appropriate follow up with Ritter campaign representatives.
With the media attention on the threat situation (going back at least as far as one radio host likely defaming Mr. Lepley by making the unfounded, outrageous and extremely offensive accusation that this threat situation did not occur and Mr. Lepley committed perjury in U.S. District Court in his testimony before Judge Kane) this office is concerned that further attempts may be made by the media to determine the identity of the individual who was the subject of the response to the threats situation. This was a security situation that was and continues to be handled with due regard to seriousness, in accordance with the limitations and boundaries of Colorado laws pertaining to criminal justice records and open records. As reflected in those laws, the general practice in security matters centers on confidentiality. Hence, even in testimony in U.S. District Court this matter was covered only in an overview fashion.
We are not aware of whether Denver Police made contact with the 'subject' person in 2006 or what information about that person was researched or developed by Denver Police in the follow up. It may well be that even at the present time the individual still does not know of the response by Denver law enforcement. We also do not know whether the Colorado State Patrol protective detail assigned to the Governor is familiar wth the details of this historical situation.
In the event you or the Denver Police Department believe the identity of the individual identified as the subject of this possible threat situation may at some point be disclosed, we request that the Governor's protective detail be appropriately briefed, if not already done.
Thank you for your assistance. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Very truly yours,
Henry R. Reeve Chief Deputy District Attorney/General Counsel
cc: Chief of Police Gerald R. Whitman (w/attachment)