The Jeffco Shuffle

Now that former Jefferson County treasurer Mark Paschall has been indicted by a grand jury for allegedly soliciting a kickback from an employee out of the enormous bonus he tossed her way (see details here), what's next for the gang of blundering bureaucrats in Golden's Taj Mahal?

This is the land of Columbine cover-ups (amply documented in Westword's Columbine Reader), of scandals over "Pinky T" faxes ("Outfaxed" tells that story), and of boxes of sensitive litigation files that disappear from the county attorney's office overnight. Even Big Jim Congrove, the commissioner credited with helping to bust Paschall, isn't exactly above the fray. Six months ago, another grand jury was poking into Congrove's conduct in filing loan documents that his ex-pal-turned-nemesis, Mike Zinna, claims had a forged signature; the apparently split grand jury didn't indict anyone in the matter, but it didn't vote to exonerate Congrove, either. You can refresh your memory on that mess with the 2005 article "Dog Days.

Paschall, who lost the GOP primary for his post last summer, has been a peculiar sort of public servant, resisting the county's efforts to acquire his Social Security number and pushing for all sorts of perks, from SUVs to a workout room, while racking up one of the worst attendance records of any high-ranking county official. On another front, the feud between Congrove and outgoing county attorney Frank Hutfless has spilled over into allegations of bill-padding (supposedly done by an attorney Hutfless claims Congrove pushed him to hire), efforts to squelch audits and rumors about hard drives booked into evidence and then gone missing.

If you think this is over, you don't know Jeffco, Bo. Anybody check the fax machine lately? -- Alan Prendergast

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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