4
| News |

Shawn Mitchell: Lawmaker admits inability to focus and personal "demons" affecting his work

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

In an unusual court filing, state senator and prominent GOP campaigner Shawn Mitchell states that his battle with anxiety and depression has made it difficult to get work done in his law practice and political life, leading to blown deadlines and missed hearings and campaign events. The affidavit, filed in a Denver District Court civil case, informs the judge that Mitchell failed to provide adequate legal representation for a client "through a blend of bad judgment, poor performance, and incapacity" and he's now seeking professional help.

The Broomfield lawmaker has seven children and, in addition to being an attorney, is also a part-time college teacher. "The juggling act that I used to be able to maintain now eludes me," he wrote in the affidavit.

While he's still meeting many of his obligations, he adds, he's had difficulty managing his schedule and focusing on and completing certain tasks: "I pass frantically but idly through windows of opportunity, accomplishing little or nothing. This includes not infrequent fruitless all-nighters, often yielding little or nothing to show for the time at the end of long hours staring at a desk and computer."

Mitchell acknowledges missing a status conference before a federal judge, "numerous legislative and political meetings," and a fundraising event for his close friend Ken Buck, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, even though he describes himself as Buck's "preferred surrogate speaker."

In other court documents, Mitchell indicates that he may eventually curtail his law practice in favor of teaching and that he "failed" his client in the case at hand "because of demons he has taken first steps to grapple with."

Asked for comment on the affidavit, Mitchell responded, "I'm working with a counselor to get my planning and scheduling under control. It's a challenge to be juggling three full-time jobs. I would be grateful if people could understand that even public officials have some zone of private struggle. I don't have any further comment."

To read the complete Shawn Mitchell affidavit, read below.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.