Last week, Colorado GOP head Dick Wadhams sent a letter to Denver police chief Gerry Whitman asking about documentation of a reported threat against then-gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter in 2006. Whitman responded by forwarding a February 2008 document confirming that such a threat had been researched by DPD. That document had been delivered to Todd Shepherd, now of the Independence Institute, but then an employee of Clear Channel Denver who worked with KHOW's Peter Boyles, the leading drum-beater about the Voorhis and Villafuerte matters.
Meanwhile, the DA's office weighed in against Boyles -- twice, as it turns out.
Westword obtained a letter to Chief Whitman by Dick Reeve, Denver chief deputy district attorney/general counsel, implying that Boyles has known about the existence of the February 2008 letter since the time of its writing, making his doubts about whether any threat had happened highly dubious.
Boyles denied any prior knowledge of the document, saying, "I swear on my mother, if I'd have had that letter, I would have used it." But Shepherd recalled showing it to Boyles, and the host reading from it on the air, back in 2008. Shepherd concluded that Boyles must have simply forgotten that he'd seen it before.
The latest? Shepherd has unearthed a memo from Reeve to DA's office staff letting them know about the note he'd sent to Whitman on the matter -- and it's even more plainspoken in its excoriation of "mudslinging and misinformation" allegedly propogated by Boyles and the Post. He writes, "Certain media outlets still seem determined to ignore facts and truths in what now may have become a smear campaign against Stephanie Villafuerte, Governor Ritter, and this office... as well as certain of our personnel."
Boyles has a copy of this memo, too, and he's spent much of his broadcast this morning lambasting Reeve, with Shepherd a guest on the program. (Moments ago, I received a call from Boyles' producer on this subject, too, and I'll also be speaking about it on the air.)
What's all the fuss about? Here's the complete memo:
From: Dick Reeve Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 10:00 AM To: All Users Subject: FW: More on the Cory Voorhis-2006 Governor's Race Matters -- update
Because of the on-going mudslinging and misinformation that continues to originate in some local media outlets, a concern still exists that we continue to remember that what is being reported or said by reporters or talk show hosts is not necessarily truthful, and in fact continues to move farther and farther away from fact. Political and other agendas held by media and political partisans as well as a desire to promote mere sensationalism appear to have become much more of a moving force in the current reporting than any sense of truthful journalistic inquiry.
Certain media outlets still seem determined to ignore facts and truths in what now may have become a smear campaign against Stephanie Villafuerte, Governor Ritter, and this office... as well as certain of our personnel [sic]. Along the way it is quite likely that at least one person in this mix (Chuck Lepley) and perhaps others, have been defamed at least by Peter Boyles and Clear Channel Communications in on-air statements accusing Chuck of having committed perjury in U.S. District Court in testimony in February, 2008, regarding a security-threat situation at Ritter campaign headquarters that occurred towards the end of governor's race (in October, 2006).
In an overview fashion, Boyles has stated (and the Denver Post seems to have at least suggested this, too, if not also saying it) there was no real security-threat to the Ritter campaign and that this was simply a fiction to hide something else. Quite recently Boyles and the Post pointed, claiming it showed the fiction, to the purported absence of any official documentation at DPD or statements by DPD personnel corroborating the October, 2006 threat situation.
What we know independently is that DPD, through the Manager of Safety's Office, sent one of Boyles' research associates an official letter in late February, 2008, confirming not only the fact of the threat situation but also some of the details about the DPD response, including the names of several command staff personnel who were involved, as well as the fact the first report of the threat to DPD was relayed from the Ritter campaign via Chuck. (note: many if not all of us know that for decades Chuck has acted and continues to act today as the coordinator/facilitator with law enforcement whenever Denver DA personnel are faced with a possible threat situation) The letter also explained why DPD had no written reports about their response. The letter was sent to Boyles' associate in response to a request for information about the threat situation.
Observing this situation from the sidelines in relative silence has been challenging because of my being familiar with the case based on work done to represent the office in federal court a couple of years ago. It has also been painful to see the many cheap shot, nickel-and-dime attempts by certain media people to besmirch or defame the names and reputations of people in this office who have devoted all of their professional lives to leading by example, showing us the ultimate in integrity, professionalism, and loyalty and dedication to the Denver District Attorney's Office and our mission.
At the same time, and in view of how the local media often act as directors and stage managers of their own plays, it has been very difficult to find a proper opportunity or forum to communicate with, and inform the citizenry of the truth... as fairness just doesn't seem to be much, if any, of the popular landscape anymore. How can one get a word in edgewise?
With the intent and hope to try to get more facts and truths into public awareness and also for all in or associated with this office or who care about this office, a letter was sent to the Denver Manager of Safety Office and the DPD Chief of Police yesterday that documents or responds to (setting the record straight) some of the more salient points in the present, mostly tainted, media reports. A copy of that letter is attached for your perusal and use. Whether or not this letter, and attachment, ever see the light of day in local media, I believe it is important that you know of it and, should you want, that you feel free to share with anyone else you believe might be interested.
Independent of our letter, DPD, by Chief Whitman, responded yesterday to a letter sent to him by the chair of the Colorado Republican Party regarding the security threat matter. A copy of that correspondence is also attached. The importance of the same February 2008 letter described above is obvious in their communication as Chief Whitman also attached a copy of that letter to his response.
If you have questions or concerns at all about this situation please feel free to contact Mitch or me.
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.