DA decision puzzling in campaign finance probe.

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 News Release


                                                                          MEDIA CONTACT: (303) 860-6903

                                                                                      Lynn Bartels 


Julia Sunny




Secretary Williams: Office properly handled campaign finance cases 

DENVER, March 23, 2018 -- Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said he is disappointed that the Denver district attorney plans to continue to investigate how his office handles campaign finance complaints.

Matt Arnold, who in recent years has filed the majority of campaign finance complaints, alleges that Williams and his office acted illegally by intervening in campaign finance cases and in one instance failing to collect a fine levied by an administrative law judge.

Williams notes the department over the years has intervened in cases where the interests of the state, particularly in the proper interpretation and application of campaign finance laws, are an issue. In fact, the office has filed briefs supporting Arnold in two of his campaign finance cases, although Arnold claims the interventions happen only for Williams' allies.

"This is why legitimate debate about our campaign finance law should happen in public at the legislature and not behind closed doors in secret proceedings," Williams said.

The office has cooperated with Denver District Attorney Beth McCann's office since Arnold filed his complaint last summer. Arnold has previously said the campaign finance system is a tool for waging "political guerrilla legal warfare (a.k.a. Lawfare)" against opponents. An administrative law judge once admonished him for filing claims that were "nothing more than a game of 'Gotcha,'" according to the article "Can't Afford a Lawyer? No Free Speech for You."

McCann now is asking for documents the office already has provided and is presenting them to a grand jury. 

"In each case of intervention, our office has had a documented legal interest in the proceedings and the intervention is only permitted if either an administrative law judge or panel of appellate judges agree," Williams said.