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A new acquaintance recently raved to me about Ken Salazar, not realizing I have not only litigated against him (or the Attorney General's office he was running) in several cases, but that I ran against him for Colorado Attorney General in 2002. (I was the Green Party candidate.)
He referred me to Salazar's profile on the Washington Post's website for proof of how experienced and knowledgeable he is, how selflessly he has defended the public interest. That's at:
Because I have knowledge which pretty well punctures this inflated resume I decided to start sharing what I know. I will refute the Washington Post's profile point by point.
Note that this blog is a work in progress. What's here is only about 5% of what will be here. And because I can't upload documents, I will be moving this material to a website in the near future.
Under the tab "Current Position: Secretary of Interior (since January 2009):
This tab starts with, "Obama's Interior secretary offers more than ten years of private-sector legal experience in water and environmental issues ..."
I have never found any evidence that Ken Salazar ever litigated a case as an attorney, and I've done searches on Westlaw. (Once he became Colorado Attorney General, however--in January 1999--his name appears automatically in every case the 130 attorneys in the Attorney General's office were involved in.)
Ken has revealed that he actually does not know that much about Colorado water law. He has said wrong things, such as that instream flows "injure" senior water rights. He has bragged about how he "defended Colorado's water" even while boosting the Animas-La Plata Project, which gave almost all of Colorado's unallocated portion of the Colorado River away to two Ute Indian tribes (and for the water from which no use has ever been shown). He opposed legislation which would have created private instream flow rights and opposed bypass flows being required as a condition of special use permits by the U.S. Forest Service.
As to his "private legal experience," he was a partner for about four years, in between stints in government, with the firm Parcel, Mauro, Hultin & Spaanstra, which represented mining interests before the Mined Land Reclamation Board, an agency in the Department of Natural Resources, while Ken headed that department. Ken has removed all references to this firm from his official bios. I discovered his affiliation with PMHS on my own, in 2002. It's a stunning connection, because PMHS represented Robert Friedland, the Summitville polluter, as well as Friedland's shell companies (Galactic Resources and Summitville Consolidated Mining Corp.) and other mining interests. That means these interests were Ken Salazar's clients, too. Summitville is still the biggest environmental mining disaster which has ever occurred in the nation--and there is substantial evidence it was intentional--a stock play benefiting political officials connected with S & L mobsters. I will be writing more about this in future.
The law firm, PMHS, was obviously deathly scared of being prosecuted for its role in these environmental crimes. It was instrumental in putting its former partner Ken Salazar into office as Colorado Attorney General in 1998, therefore--a large number of its partners gave $500 or $1,000 contributions to his campaign. The firm then dissolved right before the election and Salazar used his official powers as Attorney General to settle the State of Colorado's claims against his former clientFriedland, sticking almost the entire $235 million tab for the clean-up of this environmental catastrophe with the American taxpayer. Salazar met personally, in secret, with Robert Friedland in San Francisco, accompanied by the former mining company attorney he had anointed as Solicitor General, Alan Gilbert (whom he has now brought into Interior), to work out this settlement. Friedland was represented at this meeting by Bill Clinton's buddy Jim Lyons. The four of them met at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco in June 2000.
Friedland was required to pay $27 million in this settlement, which Salazar bragged about far and wide as a "victory" for the State. In fact, Friedland never paid the $27 million, or even one thin dime, because the Colorado Supreme Court in 2005 changed Colorado insurance law to relieve him of that liability. It held Friedland's insurer was liable for the $27 million. The author of this opinion was none other than Greg Hobbs, whose misconduct as a Supreme Court justice I have written about elsewhere, and who (I am convinced) has been the one pushing the series of groundless and harassing disciplinary proceedings I have had to defend against for the last four years, as payback. That's the kind of guy he is. Hobbs was appointed to the bench by former Gov. Roy Romer, who--there is strong evidence--may have profited personally from the Summitville mining fiasco, as did Bill Clinton.
I have written about Salazar's conflict in working out a deal to resolve the State of Colorado's claims against his former client Friedland, and the machinations of PMHS to get rid of any possibility of prosecution in other quarters, and tried to make Summitville an issue when I ran for AG in 2002. I got absolutely no press about it (and Sierra Club and the Colorado Environmental Coalition endorsed Salazar, as the "environmental candidate.") I posit that Summitville--like the Gulf oil well disaster in 2010, and like 9/11; the breach of the levees which destroyed New Orleans in 2004; and several other disasters--was caused intentionally, so powerful insiders could make a bunch of money. Similarly, I maintain that Ken Salazar not only knew what was coming with the BP spill, he put all the pieces in place beforehand--just as he did in Summitville, as the student of Roy Romer--not only exempting the perpetrators from regulations and laws--including a meaningful bond which would have protected the public--from inspections; and from construction standards, but doing everything he could to limit the liability the polluter would bear, and pass the costs to innocent persons, particularly taxpayers.
As for the other "private-sector legal experience" Ken Salazar had, I have recently learned that he worked for the firm of Sherman & Howard for several years as his first job out of law school. He doesn't mention this on his resume, either. I do wonder about his employment at these fancy law firms, because there is no indication Ken Salazar made good grades. When he ran for the Democratic Senatorial nomination against Mike Miles in 2004, for instance, every teacher and professor Miles had ever had, his whole life long, spoke out about what a brilliant student Miles had been. There have never been any testimonials from Ken Salazar's teachers. Salazar attended the University of Michigan law school, which had a quota system for minority students (later challenged in a U.S. Supreme Court case while Salazar was Colorado AG. Salazar filed an amicus brief supporting the University of Michigan's program, on behalf of the State of Colorado, without revealing the likely fact that he was a beneficiary of that program himself.)
Salazar's willingness to be controlled by the powerful interests, and susceptibility to flattery, led to the law firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck adopting him as its favorite son. It ran Ken Salazar's campaigns for Attorney General in 2002, as well as the Senate in 2004. I mean, it ran them. So its attorneys got their salaries to perform functions in the campaigns which one would think should be filled by volunteers. There was never any financial disclosure about the value of the services provided by this law firm to these campaigns, however.
A partner in this firm, Steve Farber, is responsible for bringing the Democratic National Convention to Denver in 2008, where Obama received the nomination of his party (anointment, really). My take is that Obama repaid the favor by letting Farber fill the top slots in Interior, since they are all Coloradans. Naturally, he picked Ken Salazar, who has spent his life in public office doing favors for this law firm and its developer clients, to be Secretary. Farber picked his former law partner Tom Strickland (who was, conveniently, U.S. Attorney when the Summitville case was in court, more insurance that there would be no prosecutions) as the Deputy Interior Secretary, and picked the managing partner of Holland & Hart--and formerly Shell Oil's water attorney--Anne Castle as Assistant Secretary of Interior for Water and Science. And now Alan Gilbert is also, once again, at Salazar's side.
The Washington Post tab continues "...and several decades of work in government, where he focused on land-use, water, and natural-resources issues."
Ken did nothing but flack for real estate developers in the official positions he held in Colorado--and always, always was using his powers to do favors for the Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber law firm and its clients. Steve Farber even bragged, when Salazar was a Senator, about calling Ken up on his cellphone to discuss stuff. How many people have a U.S. senator's cellphone number?
The litigation I did against the governmental entities headed by Salazar, including the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (State Board of Land Commissioners and Colorado Water Conservation Board) and the Colorado Attorney General's office--all of it--involved huge frauds committed by these state agencies, which just lay down and let the developers and polluters run roughshod over the public interest. State trust lands flew out the door for pennies on the dollar--including a valuable piece to Salazar's mentor former governor Roy Romer personally--on Salazar's watch. Salazar never did anything about these frauds; he may not even have aware of what was going on on his watch. He was simply keeping the seat warm as AG, picking up constant raves from the Denver Post for doing nothing. The Post's publisher Dean Singleton is himself a plant of Larry Mizel's, Brownstein's client and friend.. (See my blog post on Jan. 22, 2011.) So everything in Colorado was set up to accomplish a massive transfer of state resources to selected private pockets, with an AG who either was not astute enough to recognize what was going on--and that he had power to stop it--or did not care.
Because this particular comment in the Washington Post's profile is not very specific, I'll put specifics relating to the foregoing charges in other sections.
This tab further says, "Salazar served from 2005 to 2009 as a Democratic senator from Colorado." That's because the Brownstein firm ran his campaigns and the Denver Post plugged him nonstop. And that's also because there was no enforcement of our weak campaign finance laws in this State then; and now, the laws themselves are toothless. It's also because Democratic operatives, paid by developers, are stuffing ballot boxes--I have litigated against these operatives, known as Reiter & Associates, and got an admission that Rick Reiter was working for Salazar on his AG re-election campaign in 2002--something which was never disclosed on his committee's financial reports. I uncovered many other irregularities in Salazar's AG campaigns, and tried to get investigations, and failed, because, at that time, the law required the complainant first to file a case with an administrative law judge and get a favorable decision! So prosecution was put on the shoulders of citizens, at their expense. Even if they won before the ALJ criminal prosecution was discretionary with the DA or the AG. Now, there are no criminal penalties, at all, for campaign finance violations. They were removed via an initiative drafted by a very naive Common Cause in 2002, an organization which must be taking its cues from the same Democratic (read: development) interests who are co-opting elections. So, know this: there is nothing standing in the way of the wholesale buying of state and local elections in this state. There are NO investigations, NO prosecutions, and NO criminal penalties attached to the violation of the campaign finance laws in Colorado. So don't attach too much cachet to the fact that Salazar won these elections.
As for the 2004 Senate race, there is evidence that Salazar stole the primary, when he ran against Mike Miles for the Democratic nomination. I heard that there was again ballot-box stuffing, but have been unable to confirm it. I doknow that polls taken right before the election showed Miles well ahead, but then Salazar ended up winning by a big margin. Typically, in an election in which Rick Reiter is involved, the favored candidate or issue wins by an unbelievable split, like 75% to 25% (reminiscent of the Soviet Union), to make sure the losing party goes away with his tail between his legs and never runs for office again. The Reiter activities in two elections he stole in the Town of Castle Rock, which I litigated, are detailed in a video a voting rights activist made of me talking about them, which is online at: http://www.denveropenmedia.org/project/mail-ballots-and-dirty-tricks-citizens-versus-monied-interests-a-colorado-town/show/mail-bal
As for the Denver Post, this rag is owned--well, heck, NOW it's owned 80% by the Bank of America!--but back then it was still owned by William Dean Singleton, who is still around and running it, as well as acquiring other newspapers around the country. Former Houston Chronicle reporter Pete Brewton (who worked for Singleton in Houston, and was stymied by him in Brewton's investigations of the savings & loan crisis) wrote a book in 1992, "The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush," where he says that Singleton and Larry Mizel, the co-director of a homebuilding company called MDC Holdings, are "good friends--they were introduced by Michael Milken." Mizel and MDC are "clients" of the Brownstein law firm. They were all deeply involved in the savings & loan debacle and junk bond frauds in the 1980's. Every analyst I've ever read of the S&L debacle has concluded it was orchestrated by organized crime. Billions flowed out the doors of these institutions the moment they were deregulated, in uncollateralized loans which were never paid back.
A big component of the frauds was Silverado S&L here in Colorado, with which Mizel (MDC Holdings) did $300 million worth of business. (Neil Bush was, of course, a director of Silverado and voted loans for his partner in Bush's oil company, real estate developer Bill Walters, without disclosing his conflict.) Brownstein was counsel for MDC/Mizel, and deeply involved with Bill Walters, Ken Good, Marvin Davis, Charles Keating, Michael Milken, and other S&L defrauders. My theory is that the S&L defrauders used the money they got to cement their power. Not only have they made lots of illegal campaign contributions, they have put their plants into influential appointive positions in state, local, and federal government, where they are protected by the personnel system; and, in particular, in the judicial system.
These people are the mob--they are organized crime, and they run Colorado, as well as the nation and, shortly, the world. We get these neverending plugs of Ken Salazar in the Denver Post because they are all part of the same network.
I was the Craig City Attorney in 1993-94. In Sept. 1993, a crazy county court judge sent the sheriff to my office to arrest me for contempt for closing a real estate contract the City had every right to close. I was under no court order not to close it, although there was a private party, a stranger to the contract, who had sought a TRO to stop it.
So I spent four months being hauled through contempt proceedings in Craig and Steamboat Springs. The City hired Larry Pozner to defend me. (I chose him as my attorney, even though I'd had Larry for Criminal Procedure at DU Law School and thought he was often unprepared for class. He had a high profile, though.)
Larry kept promising me he was going to take depositions, do all this stuff, and he did not do anything at all (yet at the end sent a bill to the city for $12,000). The date of my trial came and I was worried sick, because my attorney had not done anything to prepare. It was in Steamboat before Judge Richard Doucette. The night before, Larry told me that the judge who'd cited me, Mary Lynne James, was willing to drop the contempt charge in exchange for an apology. While Doucette was memorializing this agreement in open court, however, something strange occurred. The judge made a statement to Larry indicating he knew Pozner's personal plans, accompanied by a wink, which absolutely shocked me--I can't believe I have forgotten exactly what he said now, only that I was flabbergasted, because it indicated communication had taken place between them, when Larry had told me he had never done anything before Judge Doucette and did not know him.
We took a break in the proceedings, and I believed I was getting off in exchange for an apology, except that Larry made me sit down on a bench outside the judge's chambers, while he went in to talk to the judge. I protested--I wanted to come, too, and had the right to do so, as the real party in interest--and he would not let me. The prosecutor was also not present.
When Larry came out, he said the judge had agreed to dismiss the contempt charge, but would be referring the matter to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel for discipline. I did not want to take this deal, then. It was different from what I had agreed to. Larry got angry with me and MADE me take it. Because he was not prepared to go to trial, I had no choice but to give in.
Larry had come to town wearing a long black coat, as well as carrying a black purse. I remember the purse, because he wryly commented that Craig was not the sort of place where a man should be carrying a purse. I have thought about that purse in the past year and suddenly realized that there may have been cash in it with which Larry paid off the judge. Doucette was the judge who screwed Marvin Heemyer, by the way, the guy who then armored a bulldozer and destroyed buildings in the Town of Granby before killing himself.
The matter in Craig was referred to OARC, as I've said, and it resulted in a Letter of Admonition, which I did not appeal. The LoA was, at that time, the lowest level of discipline, and confidential, such that I was entitled to say I had never received any discipline. Today, the LoA does not exist as a form of discipline--an attorney is referred to diversion, instead, and all record of the "offense" expunged. However, it existed in 1994, and so April McMurrey (nee Seekamp), the snotnosed prosecutor--OARC's version of Javert--has presented it to the hearing board in an envelope every time as an aggravating factor in the string of groundless disciplinary cases she has prosecuted against me since 2006.
Anyway, what I've realized from this (as well as when Judge David Lass winked at Victor Boog when he was on the stand in the Spring Creek Ranch matter, as I have detailed elsewhere) is that when your judge winks at an attorney, either yours or your opponent's, pay attention. This nonverbal communication reveals, as unambiguously as an express verbal admission, that a secret understanding exists. In particular, it may mean the judge has been bribed.
The "presiding disciplinary judge" now in Colorado is a man named William Lucero. Before getting that job he worked at the U.S. Department of Justice on the Summitville case. Of course, there were no prosecutions of any of the criminals involved in Summitville, the biggest environmental disaster from mining ever, in the United States.
To reward him for doing nothing, the Powers-That-Be gave Lucero his present position, Presiding Disciplinary Judge within the Colorado attorney regulatory system. He was also, in 2007, given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Catholic Lawyers' Guild, in something called the Red Mass, where the archdiocese rewards lawyers who are apparently doing work the Church likes.
Thus, as I interpret this, because Lucero rules "the right way," the Church has told him he's going to heaven.
He runs a kangaroo court because that's what the Fat Cats want. The point of the attorney regulatory system they run is not to protect the public, but to ruin lawyers who challenge the corruption in Colorado. To this end Lucero mischaracterizes evidence and distorts legal holdings. He interfered with his clerk's preparation of the record to ensure materials I needed to win my case on appeal were not transmitted; interrupted my witnesses on the stand to prohibit them from putting testimony favorable to me in the record; and issued groundless "protective orders," to protect the judges I had subpoenaed, and their attorney confederates, from having to admit their improper ex parte communications. He even massaged transcripts before the reporter certified them, to neutralize testimony which might have embarrassed any of the important people he toadies to. He routinely enshrines in orders false statements made by the prosecutors, although knowing they are false, to make it look like there's something there to support the sanction they have asked for. He knows when they're lying, but he overlooks it. It's OK when it's the prosecutors lying, see, because it's all in the service of God (and they're Catholics, too).
Why is the Catholic Church giving awards to lawyers, anyway? Could there be a plan to elevate Catholic lawyers to public office precisely because they know they will take direction from the Church in preference to any competing human-made rule of conduct, such as little insignificant principles like due process and the First Amendment? Indeed, Thomas More was sanctified because he put his duty to the Church over his duty to the king.
Six of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices are Catholic: Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Sotomayor, and Kennedy. (The other three are Jewish. Wikipedia has an article about the cooperation between the Italian and Jewish Mafia.) There are too many Catholic judges to count in Colorado, as well as on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado; and all of them I consider to be owned outright by the development interests, particularly the mobbed-up Brownstein, Farber law firm and its client Larry Mizel. They include now-retired John McMullen of the Denver District Court; Mary Mullarkey, until October 2010 the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, who got the St. Thomas More award in 1999; Greg Hobbs, the water developers' advocate on the Colorado Supreme Court (who I am convinced drove the retaliatory disciplinary proceedings against me); and presumably the many judges or magistrates on the U.S. District Court who have Hispanic, Irish, or Italian last names. Listed members of the Catholic Lawyers Guild are Judge John Kane, who got the St. Thomas More award in 1983 and was irregularly "transferred" onto my case in federal court; creepy Colorado Attorney General John Suthers (see the Mar. 7 entry on that link), who attended Notre Dame and got the "Lifetime Achievement Award" in 2005; Ken Salazar, who got the St. Thomas More award in 2003; and former governor Bill Ritter, who got the St. Thomas More award in 2000. Attorney James Lyons got the award in 1998. (See my post "Ken Salazar Unwrapped" about most of these people's participation in covering up, and likely profiting from, Summitville--and that's just one of their many fraudulent--and murderous-- undertakings.) The address given for the Catholic Lawyers' Guild and St. Thomas More Society is the Denver DA's office and the Denver D.A. has been a Catholic as far back as I can remember. Another participant in this cabal is the publication known as Law Week, which, similarly, is run by Catholics and gives gushing publicity and awards (e.g., Superlawyer of the Decade!), to Catholic lawyers, itself. They've got every corner pinned down.
I even had Opus Dei on my case. It is not statistically probable this occurred by chance. One of the judges in the first disciplinary case against me to go to hearing is at least a closet member, since his son is the head of Opus Dei in Colorado. His name is Steven Ezell. His deameanor during my hearing was scary--rigid and unsmiling--and now I understand why. He was put there to do a specific job and it had nothing to do with considering the evidence or the law.
The hypothesis I'm arriving at is that Catholic lawyers and judges are acting to further a common goal, which is to funnel money back to the Church or make it more powerful in other ways, as a result of their rulings and activities. So if a judge is taking a bribe, he gives some portion back to the Church, or the party his ruling benefits does.
And then there is the pedophilia in the Church. And the cover-up of the pedophilia.
Is the Mafia simply an arm of the Catholic Church (or vice versa)? To what extent is Opus Dei operating in Colorado? When Billy Lucero thumbs his nose at the Constitution, does it count as mortification of the flesh?
I wish I could tell you. At the least, it sure appears the Catholics still love inquisitions--they have never quite been able to wean themselves from the heady pleasure of torturing the poor wretches who express different views, tying them to a stake, lighting a big fire underneath, and watching them twist and scream.
Update, Dec. 4, 2011: I have been referred to this site about the Red Mass held in Washington, for the Supreme Court justices, as well as other states! My interpretation is looking spot on.
There is compelling evidence that John Gleason--the man holding the office of Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Counsel--is not a lawyer.
According to online bios [(1) and (2)], Gleason says he "earned a law degree" from Ohio Northern University, Pettit College of Law. This law school says on its website that it requires a baccalaureate degree from an accredited undergraduate institution for admission. There is no evidence Gleason ever obtained the undergraduate baccalaureate degree.
His application to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, in 1977, is Gleason's own admission that did not graduate from Bowling Green State University, since he said then he had only an AA in law enforcement from a technical college. See also p. 21 of 129 of his ACSO personnel file, his supervisor's approval of tuition reimbursement for courses at local Columbia College so John could "get his degree" in psychology. Gleason left ACSO in 1982 for law school, so there was no opportunity to return to BGSU after 1977. Corroborating evidence he never graduated from BGSU--not necessary because of the admission in his ACSO application--includes a 1996 book of alumni, which has no listing for "John S. Gleason" (although there is
one for his brother, James Rudy Gleason). Also, only one BGSU directory ever listed him as a student ("A&S junior"), in 1973-74. Two others show him as a campus police officer (Temporary 1971 BGSU directory
and the ConSurvey Directory of
1974, which I did not copy). There is no listing for John S. Gleason, ever, in
the BGSU yearbook The Key.
It appears Gleason very much wants to call BGSU his alma mater, but cannot, because he did not graduate. A list on the BGSU website contains the
names of thousands of donors, almost all of which are followed by year of graduation--e.g., "Barry Smith '67." John Gleason's name is on
this list but is not followed by a year [(p. 6 of 7)]. In fact, he regrets not having graduated from BGSU so much that he must have forgotten he didn't actually do so, since he told a writer for the Oregon State Bar Bulletin that he "earned an undergraduate degree at Bowling Green State University[.]"
While at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office from 1977 to 1982, Gleason took several courses at Columbia College, a for-profit in Aurora, Colorado, in the business of selling degrees, which has military connections. Gleason puts this on his bio apparently to make people think he went to "Columbia University." Because Gleason left the sheriff's office directly for law school, returning to Ohio for that in 1982, his bachelor's degree, if he got one, had to have been from Columbia College. Indeed, taking courses there was the largest part of what he did at ACSO, as can be seen from his personnel file. Taxpayers paid for that: two courses every eight weeks for several semesters. But his grades are blacked out and there is no certificate of graduation in the file. A person at the registrar's office of Columbia College, to whom I spoke on Oct.
29, 2013, would not tell me whether Gleason had graduated, but indirectly
confirmed that was the right school, by telling me there was a "block" on his
Note the carefully worded bios [Exhibits (1) and (2)] stating that he "attended" Columbia College and "attended" Bowling Green State University. He never says he graduated from either of these undergraduate institutions. Interestingly, he also says he "earned a law degree" from Pettit, again a careful choice of words. He used the same locution ("earned a degree") in the Oregon Bar Bulletin article respecting BGSU. There is no firm evidence he graduated from law school, either, although I did find he lived in Ada, Ohio, where ONU is, from 1983-85; and was listed in the index of the yearbooks in 1983, 1984, and 1985. No pictures, though, and no designation of him as a graduate, or even as a law student.
Gleason also made misleading statements in these bios about his work experience. One states that he "previously served as a criminal prosecutor" for several years (Exhibit 1). Another (Exhibit 2) says he "served in the Allen County Prosecutor's Office"--without saying where Allen County is. Mind you, these bios were written when he had lived and worked in Colorado for 30 years. Allen County, Ohio, is, in fact, where Ohio Northern University is located. I contacted the prosecutor's office in Allen County and they have no record of Gleason ever working there, not even as a student intern (Exhibit 5). Thus, Gleason's statement to the Oregon State Bar Bulletin that he "clerked in district attorneys' offices" was also a fib. An internship is not the same thing as a clerkship. (Sorry, John, but you ought to recognize resume padding better than anyone.) I also contacted the Ohio attorney registration office and they said Gleason was not registered as an attorney in Ohio and had never sat for the bar exam in Ohio. So, Gleason's statement in his bios that he "served in the prosecutor's office" is intended to make people believe he had lengthy experience working as a prosecuting attorney, when he had no such experience at all. Zero.
Gleason's bios also state that he was “in private practice with a law firm in Denver for several years" [Exhibits (1) and (2)], making it sound like he had a wealth of experience in civil litigation before coming to OARC, as well. By the time of his interview with the OSB Bulletin (after this post had been online for three years), he shaved it down to a "couple of years in private practice." This is misleading, too. He was admitted to the bar in Colorado in 1985, and worked with a sole practitioner named Robert Bartholic before being employed by the Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel in late 1987 or early 1988. I found this out by going through back issues of the Legal and Financial Directory to match up the office address. He was listed at the Supreme Court's address in the 1988-89 directory, which was stamped "Received" by the Supreme Court Library in August 1988. So Gleason either was working there already, or knew he would be, as of the cut-off date for that publication in April 1988. At most, therefore, Gleason worked 2-1/2 years for Bartholic after being admitted to the bar in October 1985. I talked to Bartholic on Feb. 17, 2010, who said he did no litigation and that he "didn't really have enough business to keep Gleason busy." Thus, as I said above, Gleason had never done any civil litigation or criminal prosecution as a lawyer prior to getting his job at OARC. [As I found out later, Bartholic's main claim to fame is as Most Worshipful Master of all the Colorado Masonic lodges--see Gleason's Greasin'. Curiously, Gleason's close friend at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, John V. Egan, III--who has also been "Most Worshipful Master"--got a law degree, too, and wound up working for Bartholic at the same time as Gleason, according to Bartholic.]
The Attorney Registration Office in Colorado says--incredibly--that it does not keep old employment records of attorneys or judges. You cannot even find out if the judge on your case has a conflict due to prior employment, therefore. This is why I had to page through back issues of the Colorado Legal and Financial Directory to find where Gleason had practiced, before starting at OARC.
I located the advertisement for the job Gleason got at the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, in the Sept. 1987 issue of The Colorado Lawyer. It was published only that one time. The text is as follows:
"Full time & half-time investigative counsel, Supreme Court Grievance Committee. $36,876-42,684, full-time; $18,348-21,342, half-time. Must be adm. to prac. in CO w/at least 3 yrs law prac. to related exp. Send ltr. of interest, res. & one writ. sample to Committee Counsel, 600 17th St., #500S, Denver 80203-5435 by 8/25/87."
This jibes with what Maximillian Potter reported in a June 2010 article in 5280 Magazinethat Gleason was hired by OARC as an investigator. The problem is, he did not have at least the required three years of experience when he applied (although the ad is garbled). He did not even have two, since he was admitted to the bar in October 1985. Interestingly, too, it appears that the 8/25/87 deadline stated in the ad for submitting applications would already have passed by the time the September 1987 issue was published, so that the ad was spurious. (I remember applying for this job myself. I'm an Ivy League graduate who scored in the 98th percentile on the LSAT, and I did not get an interview.)
The ad also required the applicant to submit a letter of interest, resume, and writing sample. In open records requests to the OARC which both Sean Harrington (of knowyourcourts.com) and I made early in 2010, we were told, first--not by Gleason, but by deputy attorney general Maurie Knaizer--that only Gleason could produce these records, since he was in charge of the office, and that Gleason was out of town. Too bad, Maurie said. After Gleason came back, Knaizer told us the records "do not exist." So, what happened to them? These documents were part of a personnel file and a public record. Gleason was in charge of them and now they “do not exist.”
I tried again, in late 2013, with another records request to Gleason's successor James Coyle. He turned it down for a new reason: in 2012, OARC got a yummy sundae with a cherry on top from the Colorado Court of Appeals, a ruling that it is exempt from producing any records, at all! The Court just created a new exception to the law on its own! The criminality of the legal profession is a seamless web. Here is my disgusted reply.
Then there is the mystery of the bar exam. Pettit College of Law boasts on its website that one-third of its student body scored in the 25th percentile on the LSAT. I do not believe someone who scored in the 25th percentile on the LSAT could pass the Colorado bar exam. Also, as discussed, Pettit says an undergraduate degree is required for admission. Did Gleason lie on his application for admission to that school? Or did someone let him in without this credential? They won't tell me.
Did he lie on his application for admission to the bar in Colorado? I can't get this either, of course. A long statement from the applicant about his or her education and work experience is required, under oath, to gain admission to the Colorado bar–and then there is the bar exam, which is tough. Did someone just give him a bar ticket? And did he lie on his application for employment at OARC? Is that why it’s gone? Or did he lie to me in 2010, through Maurie Knaizer, saying that his application materials, which are public records, "do not exist"? The Board of Bar Examiners did tell me he sat for the bar exam in 1985, but would not document that fact; and the list of persons who passed, which they used to post on the Supreme Court library window twice a year, was not preserved. The Oregon State Bar, incredibly, told me they did no background investigation of Gleason before hiring him in 2013.
As of my latest research, it strongly appears someone did just give him a bar ticket: John Moye and James Lyons. My latest blog post covers this: "John Gleason, Mob Plant."
This is a list of "accidental deaths" I know of in Colorado and elsewhere, just to keep track of people whose demise might not have been that accidental! (Or, as in the case of Ken Lay and Chips Barry, maybe they are not that dead.)
A common denominator in some of these deaths is the acceptance of a gift to be given the victim in Colorado! Dear Reader, if you have any reason to suspect you might be "offed," don't take any gifts, and especially don't come to Colorado to get them. And stay away from mountains and snow.
I will be adding to and updating this list with more facts as time permits. This list so far is very incomplete. Note, however, how many of the victims have been involved in the water biz, including how many have had some association with Jim Lochhead (former Brownstein, Hyatt partner and now head of Denver Water) or David Robbins (probably the most powerful water lawyer in Colorado and my particular nemesis).
Gene Amole--"Geno" was a radio station owner for many years (KVOD in Denver) and also a columnist for the Rocky Mountain News. He's the one who taught me to look critically at some of the deals going down in this town, notably Denver International Airport. It's unfortunate that he comes first in this list, because he was 78 when he died. Stuff does happen when you're old. However, Geno would have been someone the Dark Side would've wanted to silence, since he was very knowledgeable, and before he got sick, a very effective critic. He died of cancer in 2002.
A street was named for him, next to the Rocky Mountain News building, which the City named "Gene Amole Way." That has now been obliterated by the fortress they call the "Justice Building."
J. David Barba--Mr. Barba was the Colorado state auditor. I did not know him. I know only that he did two critical audits of the State Board of Land Commissioners and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. I have litigated against both rogue agencies, for transferring public property to well-connected persons or entities, in secret and with no legal authority. Barba had criticized some of their doings, and I was able to use his audits. There may be many more pertaining to other agencies. I regarded him as an honest public servant doing his job. He died of some rare disease at age 52.
Barba had also criticized a $70,000 contract Vikki Buckley had entered into with consultant Sam Riddle, right before he died. See the post on Buckley, below.
Chips Barry: Chips was the director of Denver Water, and, before that, Romer's director of Natural Resources. Not exactly revered by his employees. ("Despised and distrusted" is more like it.) He died in 2010 in an accident on his macadamia nut farm in Hawaii, where he went after he retired. The tractor fell on him. (Sounds a lot like the demise of sculptor Luis Jimenez, don't you think? A piece of his horse statue supposedly fell on him.)
Gee, how did Chips get a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii? Well, one good source has said he gave away a choice piece of Denver Water's real property in the mountains. Although retired, right at the time of his death he was scheduled to come back to Denver to shepherd Denver Water through negotiations with the Western Slope over taking the last dribbles of water the city inadvertently left in the streams after its last raids.
Terri Brake--Terri was a criminal defense attorney. I know that she had been connected with Larry Pozner, maybe his partner at one point, because she "subbed" for him in a criminal procedure class he taught, which I took, at the DU law school. That was my only contact with her, but I know that she was very sincere, energetic, and capable. The newspaper said she had been given a hot-tub as a gift, which she had installed in her house, and died of electrocution the very first time she used it.
I have evidence Pozner is one of the attorneys who pays off judges in this state. See "On Winking Judges".
Maybe Terri knew.
Mina Brees: another unfortunate "suicide," an attorney from Texas who waited until she was visiting some unidentified "friend" in Granby, Colorado, to overdose on unidentified drugs. She happened to be the mother of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and they were estranged. Wonder if anyone has totted up the unusual deaths of people associated with football players.
Vikki Buckley: Buckley was a Republican African-American woman elected Colorado Secretary of State in 1994. Although the office was a shambles while she ran it, she was re-elected in 1998. She died of a heart attack in July 1999 at age 51. Curiously, a "good friend"--political consultant Sam Riddle--was alone with her when she died. See Aarone Thompson and Shely Lowe, below; and Dave Barba, above.
Carlson, Elliott & Land: These men were partners in a water law firm in Denver in the 1980's. They had just (along with David Robbins) won a big case in the San Luis Valley, with a water speculator called AZT (which had ties to the later water speculator AWDI). To celebrate, partners Elliott & Land, along with some others--can't remember exactly all, but know that water engineer Harlan Erker was with them--were flying to Alamosa for a victory dinner, but their plane crashed on the way and they were killed. This was sometime between 1983 and 1985, can't remember. Water lawyer Mary Mead ("Mooey") Hammond should have been on that flight, but was pregnant so didn't go. Partner John Undem Carlson, probably the most prominent water lawyer in the state at the time, was already in Alamosa, so was also not on that flight.
But John died a few years later, of "thick blood." Huh??? He was in his early 50's and slim and fit.
Peter Craven: Craven was a district court judge in Garfield County and replaced Judge Thomas Ossola on our Spring Creek Ranch water cases, when Ossola retired. (After Craven died, Ossola came back on.) Not that I liked Craven, but he did deny our opponents their attorney fees (after denying us a right to be heard on the merits). Not long after he denied their motion for fees, in June 2006, he died--from (you guessed it) a heart attack!--riding his bike. He was not overweight. Water attorney Glenn Porzak and his bud Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs (also a water attorney) gave memorial speeches in his honor. Funny it was they. I wondered if they were shedding crocodile tears. Both of them played key roles in the Spring Creek Ranch water theft which was in the Supreme Court, in front of Hobbs, at the time.
Allan Francovich: No Colorado connection, but I feel like putting this down here. Francovich was a moviemaker who had done in-depth interviews and investigation of the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. His movie is online--The Maltese Double Cross--and it is the real deal, real Scots talking angrily about how, as soon as the crash happened, the site was swarming with Americans, FBI and CIA agents who were removing things, handling bodies, and going through luggage. Although Francovich's theory about Iranians and Syrians and the CIA's bumbling in letting the bomb get on the plane is supportable, even more supportable is a theory that the CIA and FBI exploded the bomb remotely. He didn't go far enough. Looking back, the Pan Am crash was the beginning of the sweeping intrusive legislative measures we have seen to "make us safe," which in reality have stripped us of our freedom. How else could the CIA and FBI have been on the scene so fast? And then Francovich dies of a heart attack in the Houston airport at age 56, on April 17, 1997. Right, that sure looks like a natural occurrence.
James Gardner--James was a rancher and the person in Park County, Colorado, who organized and chaired the Park County Water Preservation Coalition to fight the City of Aurora's (and Park County Sportsmen's Ranch's) applications to suck all the groundwater out of South Park. I represented PCWPC in the water rights litigation, so James was my client. He organized 4,000 well owners so that this grassroots opposition was successful; and along the way, we formed a new water conservancy district which now brings in over $180,000 a year in tax moneys. (Basically, I think we created a monster, but that's another story.) James became a Park County commissioner, and had enormous influence and credibility in the county. He then suddenly died of cancer at age 54, in 2006.
Samuel Hamilton: This man was the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service. He was 54, fit, and full of plans when he came to Colorado--and died--on Feb. 20, 2010. More here.
George Hickenlooper: He came to Denver--and died--on Oct. 29, 2010. He was a moviemaker and the cousin of Mayor John Hickenlooper, who was shortly afterwards elected governor, having been anointed by Larry Mizel (as all must be if they are to have a political future in this state). Mizel and the Brownstein, Hyatt law firm which represents him are the face of organized crime in this state. See Brewton, The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush (1992).
The press said immediately afterwards that George Hickenlooper died "of natural causes in his sleep" and the St. Louis Post Dispatch said it was a heart attack. He had no prior history of heart disease. And who can say "natural causes" without an autopsy? See my postings on Sam Hamilton, Robert Mydans, and Allan Francovich. George Hickenlooper was only 47. Forty-seven is not old and people don't just drop dead without exhibiting some warning signs.
There has just been a report from the Denver medical examiner that he died of a combination of ethanol and oxymorphone. Will anyone look to see if he had a prescription for oxymorphone, since it is a controlled substance, or tell us what the pain was he was having, for which this drug was prescribed?
He was here for the premiere of his movie Casino Jack, which is about the scams of Jack Abramoff--"money, greed, and illegal activities." The connections between Abramoff's payoffs and Indian deals--and Colorado--are legion. Some criminal convictions within Gale Norton's Department of Interior resulted. Our former U.S. Attorney Troy Eid had been in practice with Abramoff at Greenberg, Traurig, in the Indian law division (although he publicly denied it). In the movie, a sign prominently bearing the name "Greenberg Traurig" is displayed. I'm sure the firm didn't like that.
Maybe this "accidental death" is a message from the mob to cousin John, now Colorado governor. Toe the line, baby.
Anyway, so yeah. If someone wants you to come to Colorado to give you an award, take the next flight somewhere else. Or maybe don't take a flight.
Scott Lawrence--This was our original judge in the Castle Rock election contests, in 1998 and 1999. He was a good man, one of the district court judges for Douglas County, Colorado (in the 18th Judicial District). He awarded us four temporary restraining orders because of illegal activities of the Castle Rock Town Council and Town Attorney Bob Slentz, in their efforts to thwart my clients' initiative and recall efforts. The initiative and recall, brought by concerned citizens, were directed at obtaining some control over the go-go development in Castle Rock. A video of me talking about these election contests and the ballot box stuffing conducted by Rick Reiter and his employees is here.
In prehearing proceedings Judge Lawrence had awarded us our attorney fees for Town Clerk Sally Misare's violation of the Open Records Law. (She sent all the election records to the Town's attorneys in Glendale, 20 miles away, so my clients could not review them.) But ten days before our hearing was to begin in January 2000, Lawrence was rushed into emergency surgery, where they removed his voicebox and part of his tongue. He never returned to the bench, and died about a year later.
Judge Lawrence had previously been treated for throat cancer. However, he was a nonsmoker. His wife, I was told--also a nonsmoker--had also contracted throat cancer and died before Judge Lawrence did. It is very rare for nonsmokers to get throat cancer. I wonder if they were living in one of the houses built by Richmond-American Homes, Mizel's company.
I want to honor Judge Scott Lawrence here--he was a good man, an honest man, exactly the kind of person who should be on the bench in Colorado but, I fear, no longer is. I often feel like the ancient Greek Diogenes, who went everywhere with a lantern, looking for an honest man. I am looking for an honest judge.
I note that in another election contest I had against attorney Mark Grueskin (who represented the Castle Rock developers in this contest), the judge was also switched at the last minute. That was a campaign finance contest against the City of Arvada. There, no reason was ever given for the switch. In both cases the judge was switched from one who was very good for us, ruling our way, to a political hack who rubberstamped everything the developers wanted.
Grueskin is married to a woman named Lola Farber Grueskin, who, it must be presumed, is related to Steve Farber of the mobbed-up law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck.
Chuck Lile: Chuck had been the division engineer for Water Division 7, in Southwestern Colorado, and then was named to be director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Thus, he held very sensitive and important positions impacting water development in Colorado. Chuck died of a brain tumor at age 54, in 1999.
Parker and Carolyn Lofgren: Please see my post about Denver Public Schools. The Lofgrens won a stay at a house in Aspen through a fundraising auction, where they met their tragic deaths.
Shely Lowe and Aarone Thompson: Aarone Thompson was reported missing in Nov. 2005, on the eve of her 7th birthday. The police concluded she had probably been killed at least 2 years earlier; but no body has ever been found. Shely Lowe was the girlfriend of Aarone's father, Aaron Thompson. She obviously knew what had happened to Aarone and was named as a "person in interest" by the police, then suddenly died of a heart attack at age 34. We next learn her church had taken out a life insurance policy on her!
A "good friend of the family's" had been black political consultant Sam Riddle. Another famous friend of Riddle's also died of a heart attack: Vikki Buckley, the Colorado Secretary of State (see above). Riddle was the only one around when she collapsed.
Aaron Thompson, the father, went to prison for 100 years and all their kids were removed from the home. Where are they now, I wonder. Sam Riddle compared Aarone with JonBenet Ramsey, an interesting comparison, particularly if you suspect there is child sex trafficking ring operating in the Denver/Boulder area, in which high public officials are involved, as I do.
Riddle also became the spokesperson for the Shoels family, whose son Isaiah was killed at Columbine. Turns out Riddle actually lives in Detroit and his lover is Michigan State Rep. Mary Waters. (Well, he's in prison at the moment.)
Jennifer Moulton: She was the Denver Planning Director. I did not know her, but she obviously held a sensitive position in the middle of the go-go development years. I had understood she carried out her duties in a neutral and professional manner. She got a "rare form of cancer" and died at age 53, in 2003.
Robert Mydans: Mydans was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for Colorado who prosecuted economic crimes. (Like Tom Wales; see below.) He went snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park on Feb. 18, 2012--and was "found collapsed" at the trailhead--in other words, before he even got going. No cause of death has ever been given, nor was any autopsy done. Once again (as with Sam Hamilton), the creepy, Ken Salazar-connected Catholic mortuary Horan & McConaty spirited up from Denver and embalmed the body before you could say "boo."
And Mydans's new boss was the creepy Catholic Oppenheimer-fund-connected John Walsh.
Only in Colorado will the public accept "snowshoeing" as a cause of death. See what I mean? When it happens in the mountains, in the snow, nobody asks questions!
Sue O'Brien--Sue had been the editorial page editor of the Denver Post back when it was still a mostly functioning newspaper. When I ran for Colorado attorney general in 2002, I was being snubbed and excluded from coverage almost everywhere; however, Sue let me publish a guest column, along with the other two candidates. She had wanted them (Ken Salazar and Marti Allbright) to write about water. Ironically, although I am a water attorney, she would not let me write about water! She told me to write about anything else, so I wrote about how "easy" Colorado is. I compared it to the legendary community "Hole in the Wall," the place where killers, bank robbers and other outlaws went to avoid prosecution, since there are never any investigations or prosecutions in this State. In my column, I referred to Qwest as "a criminal enterprise that calls itself a phone company," and directly linked the law firm of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Strickland (now Schreck) to organized crime. While I have no idea whether Sue's approval of this article had anything to do with anything connected with her personal health, she died not long afterwards of cancer.
Monte Pascoe: Geez, another heart attack felling a fit guy. Pascoe was in his early 60's walking to work in Denver in 2007, and dropped dead on the sidewalk. He had been involved in the Spring Creek water case in front of Judge Ossola, representing (I think!) Paul Tudor Jones, yet another mindbogglingly wealthy guy. In fact, Pascoe had committed misconduct in that case, simply blowing off interrogatories I'd served on him to try and find out why his client was in the case and even who his client was. He simply never responded. So that must've been one powerful client. Pascoe was also on the Denver Water Board, one of the most powerful (and corrupt) bodies in the state.
Mary Sylvester--Mary was a classmate of mine at the DU Law School, and had a Ph.D. in sociology. I was not in close touch with her, but we were friendly. I knew she had gone to work in the administration of Wellington Webb when he became mayor of Denver. She had worked enthusiastically on his campaigns, and he named her the head of Denver Excise and Licenses. Mary then died suddenly. She was single; I know her parents were both deceased; and I have not been able to find any of her friends who might be able to tell me what happened, although I looked for the people who had been quoted in her obituary. A couple years before she died, however, I ran into her and we briefly chatted. She gave me to understand that she was fighting corrupt things Webb had done. Because this was consistent with my own experience with the Webb Administration, from litigating over his carve-up of the Chatfield Arboretum and theft of the El Jebel Temple', and investigating how his people carved up Daniels Park, I wanted to know more from her. Unfortunately, I never did. Mary, I'm sorry.
Aarone Thompson:See above, under Shely Lowe.
Ray Wright and Doug Shriver: They were the top two officials with the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, David Robbins's client. They were killed in March 2010, supposedly by snow sliding off a roof of a cabin in Creede. No autopsy done. Ray Wright was a good guy. I did not know Doug Shriver.
There was a big New York Times article about Michael Bennet, running for the Democratic senatorial nomination in Colorado, on August 6, 2010. It discussed the vote by three Denver Public Schools Board of Education candidates in 2007 to put the pension fund into "exotic investments" which benefit only the banks, and are now costing DPS an arm and a leg. Bennet was hired, without any experience or qualifications in education, as the superintendent of DPS by these three boardmembers, and then repaid the favor by campaigning for their re-election in 2007. The Times article didn't mention that one of these DPS board members, Bruce Hoyt, is, in fact, an investment banker himself. Hoyt ran a joint campaign with Theresa Pena. I remember not voting for either, because they sent around so many glossy brochures I knew a lot of money was behind them (and if you look at their 2007 campaign contributions, you can see that was indeed the case).
One of Hoyt's and Theresa Pena's campaign contributors was Parker Lofgren, an investment banker who turns out to have been Bruce Hoyt's partner at St. Charles Capital. This fact has never been mentioned in any press I've seen. Lofgren and his wife Carolyn also show up on the donors list and at functions of the Denver Public Schools Foundation.
The connection is startling. Parker and Carolyn Lofgren and their two children were the tragic victims of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in Thanksgiving 2008. They had bought a stay at a mansion in Aspen at a fundraising auction at their children's school (ironically not a Denver public school, but St. Anne's Episcopal).
There is very little information available on the web about how this particular prize ended up in this particular auction. The Lofgrens split it with another couple at their church, whose identity has been omitted from every article I have found online, who are the ones who found the Lofgrens' bodies when they arrived in Aspen the day after the night the Lofgrens died. The house was rented out for functions like this, and otherwise stood vacant; however, several other groups had stayed there without any problem, including one which left only a day before the Lofgrens arrived.
The house was for sale. The owner had had some other properties sold for taxes in 2009.
I have wondered whether Parker Lofgren might have been a critic of the refinancing scheme possibly about to voice a negative opinion to the school board. He obviously knew about the plan, as a partner of one of the school board members pushing for it and an expert in investments. The DPS vote was taken right around that time.
Maybe St. Charles Capital even worked on the refinancing, although that certainly would have been a conflict for Hoyt. I don't know. The name "St. Charles Capital" is interesting, too, since the name of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's real estate development company is "St. Charles Town Company." I haven't been able to find any connection between them, but why "St. Charles"? Is there some connection to the parish? (There's another "St. Charles"--Wendy St. Charles--who was convicted of felony cocaine trafficking. Shewas nevertheless admitted to the bar in Colorado, where she worked for MDC Holdings; and then George W. Bush pardoned her! She went on to work for Brownstein, Hyatt, and then Holland & Hart in Vail.)
I am compiling a list of "accidental deaths" in Colorado. In fact, since I've talked about a few already, I'm going to create a "sub-blog" just to deal with that! They look less accidental when all the circumstances surrounding each one are taken into account.
I sent a shorter version of this letter to the Denver Post on August 26, 2010:
So is Bruce Benson, as CU president, starting to do what everyone feared he might when he was appointed, by closing the CU Journalism School? Sure, closing the school will save money, but what is a University for?
Perhaps one would close the school to forestall investigation into the frauds of public officeholders, which journalism students might be trained to do. These students might, in fact, do well to investigate Benson himself, who gave $45,000 to three Denver Public Schools candidates in 2007, the same three who invested the teachers' pension fund in "exotic instruments" which solely benefit the banks. One of these candidates, and now a DPS board member, Bruce Hoyt, is, in fact, an investment banker.
Bruce Benson's contributions to these three were not reported until after the election. Other oil companies, banks, and developers also gave big bucks to them. What could their interest be in a school board race if not to get their mitts on the pension fund? Well, it's clear their primary goal is to dismantle public education generally. They start with the school closures and progress to looting the teachers' pension fund.
And now Benson and his buds have gone to work on CU. Lots fewer eyes on the pension fund if no journalism students around.
*** Coda, March 10, 2011: I was criticized by someone after I published this piece, who said, oh, the Journalism School is only being restructured to keep up with technological developments, and the intention is they'll be back soon, and do a better service to their students. Turns out that's not correct: a couple weeks ago, it was reported the Journalism School is staying closed. Kaput. Total blackout, even in the schools. There's not going to be any news coming out of the black hole of Colorado, by golly!
John Gleason is the director of the Colorado Supreme Court's Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. As I've mentioned in other postings, this office has brought a string of harassing and groundless disciplinary prosecutions against me over the past three years.
I recently visited the website of John Gleason's law school, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. I had never heard of it before.
It says, right up front, that half of its enrolled students scored in the 25th percentile on the LSAT! Yikes. I didn't even know you could GO to law school with a score like that. I mean, why would you even pursue it? It shows you would do better looking to some other field for employment.
And here is this law school effectively ADVERTISING for such students. Could this be why Gleason went there?
And now another possibility comes to mind: I scored in the 98th percentile on MY LSAT. Could this be why Gleason is obsessing about me? Got a little inferiority complex, babe? Got to slap the uppity female down to prove she ain't so smart?
I never see him litigate anything personally. In fact, I think I've set eyes on him only once in my life. He always dispatches Coyle or McMurrey to do the dirty work on me. I found an online posting he made, consisting of only a couple sentences, and it has errors in spelling and punctuation in it.
This is yet another troubling example of the mediocrities who have been put into sensitive positions in state government, wielding great power--and abusing that power. Merit obviously not being the reason Gleason was selected for this position, there must be another. Any guesses?
On January 15, 2009, Susan Greene, a Denver Post columnist, wrote "Tapping Mexico for Water," reporting on a ceremony between Interior officials and Mexican diplomats, who shook hands and smiled for cameras in Washington "after pledging cooperation on the Colorado River." This is because "parched communities in Nevada, Arizona, and California have been eyeing water south of the border." In other words, these communities want to steal even the little bit of Colorado River water which currently trickles into Mexico under our treaty, and they found somebody from Mexico to sign it over to them. The deal appears totally one-sided, favoring U.S. development interests, although undoubtedly American taxpayers will foot the bill for the proposed desalination plant in Mexico.
Greene then reported that "water talks between the two countries were set back dramatically in September when the main U.S. and Mexican envoys on the issue were killed, together, in a plane crash."
This was stunning news. I googled until my computer spewed steam, finding nothing, so wrote a letter to Greene, as well as to the Denver Post. I asked what the names of these envoys were and what they had been negotiating. I said that my clients, whose number one concern is the Colorado River, knew nothing about such "negotiations" with Mexico. There is a group which we know meets about Colorado River compact issues, but it has no website and does not hold public meetings, so we have never been able to get information. I asked Greene how she knew these things--who told her? Were the envoys who were killed about to sign an agreement that Mexico should get real wet water, to restore the desiccated Colorado River Delta?
The "lead negotiator" on the deal--after the deaths of the envoys, presumably--was Jim Lochhead, who is not a governmental official. He is a water attorney with Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck, which represents real estate developers. In fact, Brownstein has the Colorado River sewn up since its mergers with the Schreck Law Firm in Las Vegas and the Hatch & Parent water law firm of California. Thus, it's disingenuous to say the "parched communities of Nevada, Arizona, and California" have been eyeing this water. Instead, it is a far more logical conclusion that Brownstein has been eyeing it, and now has made a deal to send all the water its way.
Brownstein is easily linked to the mob. After you google--and gag--at what comes up on Brownstein and his "client" Larry Mizel, try googling Mr. Schreck of Las Vegas; whew.
Greene did not respond to my email, and the Denver Post did not publish my letter. Remembering my emails, I just searched for them in my gmail account, and they are gone. On one attempt, I got the advice, "The conversation no longer exists." But I certainly did not delete them and it was only a year ago. The Denver Post's publisher, William Dean Singleton, has been reported by Pete Brewton, a former Houston Chronicle reporter, to be "best friends" with Larry Mizel, the guy who ripped off Silverado with Brownstein's help.
Through more googling, I learned that John Keys, the former Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, also died in a plane crash "on May 30." It's not clear what year, but I am guessing 2008. The only place that item appeared was in a Bureau employee newsletter. Google brings up not a single newspaper article in the entire United States about this incident.
My name is Alison Maynard and my nickname is "Sunny." I have been a lawyer specializing in water rights and land use for 24 years. I have represented citizens' groups, environmental groups, and individuals, however--not real estate developers--and many times I have taken cases on a low- or no-fee basis, to provide access to legal representation to persons and causes who otherwise would not have it. I received my A.B. in physics from Cornell University, College of Arts & Sciences, in 1976, and J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law in 1986. Here's my resume, if you want to know more.
I was the Green Party candidate for Colorado Attorney General in 2002 and my Democratic opponent was Ken Salazar. I ran because, through the litigation I have done, I know of some enormously bad acts by public officials in the Romer Administration, one of whom was Salazar. I saw them secretly carving up public lands and water rights to give pieces to developers, so I made these campaign issues. Like one of my heroes, Ralph Nader, I was excluded from almost every forum and debate; but in the few I got to speak at, I drove some points home, many of which I will now post on this blog. They're still important, particularly given Salazar's ascendancy to Secretary of Interior.
One would think I should have gotten an award for my dedication to my clients and exposure of corruption. Instead, I have been subjected to an onslaught of groundless and retaliatory disciplinary proceedings against my license for over four years, as well as huge monetary sanctions imposed summarily by courts. The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel has trumped up this string of charges, and smeared me with untruthful material. Its mission is not to correct ethical missteps, but to discredit me, and destroy me financially. What appears to have really set them off is some blogging I've done about judicial corruption, characterizing what I have been litigating against as "asset stripping enabled by judges." Hoo-boy, are we not supposed to talk about that! At bottom, I believe, is a Colorado Supreme Court justice--Romer appointee, natch--named Greg Hobbs. He has met with my opponents (repeatedly) in every appeal I have brought to his court. I believe he is, in fact, telling the judges in my lower-court cases, as well as OARC, to do this to me.
I have brought a racketeering/civil rights suit, which lays out what I've been through, at least as of August 2010; and then a suit I was forced to bring in April 2011 because of the latest sanctions, this time imposed by a Denver District Court judge. Here is the complaint.
These suits have the federal court in a tizzy. Eight judges and five magistrates have recused--and, although the first one has been on file since August 2009, nothing has happened. Disclosures, scheduling, discovery, everything has been "stayed," without an ounce of authority. The State is fighting disclosures because I am insisting on the judges' emails--particularly Hobbs's.
The latest development is a "transfer" of the case to Judge Kane, who struck my complaints and sanctioned me groundlessly about six times in the first week he was on the case. (He came on on March 29, 2011). You can read about it all in my "Motion to Recuse Judge Kane", filed April 15, 2011. He is closely associated with the same Democratic cabal whose corruption I have exposed.
This will give you a taste of what's going on in this state. It doesn't bear any resemblance to the American judicial system we learned about in 8th grade civics. It looks a lot more like the Soviet Union.
Gee, it appears he is, although I haven't sent him any!
The New York Times on Jan. 12, 2010, had an editorial discussing a press conference Ken Salazar, present Secretary of the Interior, gave about his decision to conduct more rigorous review of proposed oil and gas leases on public lands. It was entitled, "No More 'Candy Store'" and said in pertinent part:
"The bureau [of Land Management], he declared bluntly,would no longer be a 'candy store' for an oil and gas industry that (mixing his metaphors) had been allowed to act like 'kings of the world' during the Bush years."
This is most interesting, because on Oct. 30, 2009, I sent an email out to two friends (who said they did not forward it), in which I likened Ken Salazar, Tom Strickland, and Anne Castle--now occupying the top three jobs at the Dept. of Interior--to "kids in a candy store." The context of my email was big water rights owned by the federal government. What I see is that this stricter review is not about the environment. It is about who gets the water, the oil companies (who generally fund Republicans) or the real estate developers (who fund Democrats).
I had sent an earlier email talking about the fact that, if the oil shale leases Shell Oil was granted in NW Colorado were nullified, its big senior conditional water rights for oil shale development would also probably be cancelled, for inability to show diligence. If Priority #1 goes away, Priorities Nos. 2 through 20,000 benefit from an increased water supply. Probably the juniors are water rights owned by developers represented by the Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck law firm. Tom Strickland is a former partner of the Brownstein firm and that firm RAN--I mean, it RAN--Ken Salazar's campaigns for Colorado Attorney General and the Senate. As for Anne Castle, she is a real water lawyer--who also, of course, represented developers--with Holland & Hart. Basically, the Brownstein firm, with its recent mergers with the Schreck law firm in Las Vegas and Hatch & Parent in California, has the Colorado River sewn up,
I speculated that these appointments to the top three jobs at Interior were very likely payback to Brownstein partner Steve Farber for bringing the Democratic National Convention to Denver, where Obama was nominated.
Anyway, I used the term "candy store" referring to Ken Salazar, the federal government, and leases to public lands for oil development, the same context he used it in. Hmmm.
After I saw that NY Times editorial, and emailed a few friends about this coincidence, my computer went kerflooey. I could not even get into WordPerfect. It has just spent four days in rehab.
I wrote the following for Wikipedia, but then got into a battle with the project proponents, who kept replacing the true--if somewhat sarcastic--story I had posted with their "official version." I will shortly be adding links to documents to support what I have said, in this blog.
The long and the short of it--if you've googled me--is that I have been ridiculed mercilessly on the web by my opponents in this case, apparently to divert attention from the very real multibillion-dollar frauds they have committed, along with lies to Congress, to the water court, and to the public.
Here's the Wiki piece:
"The Animas-La Plata water project is being built to fulfill the water rights settlement of the two Indian tribes that live in Colorado--the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe." So say the promoters of the Project. Unfortunately, there was no consideration for the "settlement," because the Utes never had a valid claim for water.
The Utes' reservation was extinguished by an Act of Congress in 1880. During the 20th century, they were permitted by acts of Congress to sue the government several times to recover for the property interests disposed of from their reservation, recovering, by 1950, over $1 billion (in 1998 dollars). In that year (1950), they signed several consent judgments agreeing that this was the last time they would come to court. They agreed they would never seek any more compensation for their extinguished property interests and that the 1950 judgment was res judicata.
However, the very next year, 1951, they were back in court with more claims for compensation. The Court of Claims approved their application, with one lone dissenter, Judge Skelton, who was outraged by it. He said:
"I cannot agree with the reasoning of the majority nor with the result they reach. In my opinion, the Indians in this case, along with other Southern Ute tribes, were paid $31,938,473.43 in 1950 for the identical land involved here, together with other lands. This was the largest judgment ever awarded by this court since it was established in 1855. The attorneys who represented the Indians in the recovery of this tremendous judgment received an attorney fee of $2,800,000. [See Confederated Band of Ute Indians v. United States, 120 Ct.Cl. 609 (1951).] As will be seen in the following pages, the same Indians and the same attorneys are before the court again in this case asking that they be paid again (twice) for the same land, and the opinion of the majority is going to allow them to get this double payment. This results, in my opinion, in a shocking giveaway of millions of dollars of public money of the United States, and I cannot agree to it."
191 Ct.Cl. at 32.
The United States Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision authored by Justice Brennan, agreed with Judge Skelton and reversed the Court of Claims in a 1971 opinion, United States v. Southern Ute Tribe or Band of Indians, 402 U.S. 159. True to form, however, the Utes--through their Anglo attorneys--were back in court the very next year, 1972, with more claims arising from their extinguished reservation, this time for reserved water rights.
This brings us to the so-called Animas-La Plata Project (ALP), which is now being built to “settle” those claims for reserved water rights, claims which were prohibited because of the 1880 Act of Congress, the 1971 Supreme Court opinion, and the Utes' own agreement in 1950 that they would never come back to court again to seek more compensation for their lost property interests. In other words, the American taxpayers are being required to fork over a billion dollars to build a water project to "settle" nonexistent claims. And ALP is not even a "project"--it's only a hole in the ground. There are no plans to take the water anywhere: the original irrigation project was completely scrapped, also by an Act of Congress and the consent of the interested parties themselves, since taking irrigation out was the only way they could get it funded. We the taxpayers will be paying for this boondoggle for years, with interest, until a use for the water is discovered. And then we will have to build them a distribution system, which will be untold billions more, money never factored into the original cost. Anomalously for a Bureau of Reclamation project, all project costs have been transferred to the American taxpayer! That’s because, since there is no use for the water, there are no water users to pay for it.
There are numerous other problems, including egregious frauds committed by the project's attorneys in the Colorado water court, and lies to Congress. The frauds in the court started in the 1960's, possibly in the 1950's. The applicant for the water rights was the Southwestern Water Conservation District, whose attorney was a man named Bill Eakes. In 1963, Eakes filed the statements of claim for ALP water rights in the court, as the SWCD's attorney; in 1965, he argued them to the referee; then, in 1966, he became the judge and granted the claims. Thus, he signed decrees, as the judge, awarding the very water rights he had filed for as the attorney! And then he signed decrees granting diligence on these rights several years in a row (and there is strong evidence that the applications for diligence were forged and placed in the court file long after the fact, by him personally). This was, again, when the A-LP was strictly an irrigation project, dreamed up to benefit the Anglo landowners in the La Plata drainage--the Indians were not involved in any way--but it was never economically feasible, according to the Bureau's own studies. Eakes's prodigy, an attorney named Sam Maynes, sat down with Judge Eakes and a Bureau engineer in the water court later in private conclaves to change the decree as they saw fit, adding new structures and uses in order to try and get the project funded, never with any of the notice to the public which the law requires.
The court records from these proceedings have been altered in numerous ways; many documents are missing which should be in the court file; transcripts are missing reporter certifications and pages; and other evidence is just gone. In fact, the file reveals that an adjudication held in the early 1950's, which should have been closed and in which a decree should have issued on the evidence by 1952--prioritizing water rights all of which would have been senior to the ALP--was irregularly reopened by Eakes when he became the judge. It is highly likely that a decree from the 1951 proceeding was issued, but later disposed of, in order that Eakes and Maynes could draft a new one in 1966 and insert an ALP water right into the existing priority list, thus giving it seniority over many other water rights it should not have had.
In the mid-1980's, Maynes and his cronies had still failed to obtain Congressional authorization for the project, so this is when they joined forces with the Utes (who were Maynes's clients in other matters, anyway) and "settled" the applications for reserved rights by giving the Utes the Animas-La Plata project. This moribund and economically infeasible irrigation project was thus magically transformed into an "Indian Project." The Utes' reserved rights applications are the very ones discussed above: illegal on their face because filed in violation of the 1971 United States Supreme Court opinion and 1880 Act of Congress. Obviously, reserved water rights could not have survived the 1880 extinguishment of the reservation, since they are implied from a reservation of land. The proceedings in water court from 1972 to 1991 then were themselves violative of state laws and due process. There were over 100 objectors in the case who were just "blown off" by the powerful interests who were feeding at the ALP trough, with the blessing of the court. These 100 objectors never stipulated to any decree, yet a decree was entered. In fact, everything that happened in the court happened ex parte: these objectors were not served notice of any of it. They were just excluded. And not much is of record in the court case, anyway--the "settlement" was a secret backroom deal which the court, Judge Al Haas by that time, just signed off on, in 1991, when he got a letter from Colorado deputy attorney general Lois Witte saying the Big Guys have settled now so please sign our decree. This letter also was not served on the 100-plus objectors, nor is it in the court file. And, as mentioned, the “settlement” was only among about ten parties, the powerful development interests. The other 100 objectors were totally ignored.
The biggest joke of all--a sick joke on the taxpayer--is that there is no use for the water. There is no "project," in other words: there is only a hole in the ground, Ridges Basin Reservoir (now called Nighthorse Reservoir, dubbed “Nightmare Reservoir” by locals). There has never been any distribution system proposed, because there is no way to use the water. In this "reserved rights case," no quantification of the amount necessary to fulfill the purposes of the reservation was ever done--at least, none was presented to the court, which makes this “project” different from every reserved rights case ever litigated in this country. There was only this "settlement" executed by the federal government, the State of Colorado, the Southwestern Water Conservation District, the Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District, the two Ute tribes, and a couple other water districts, most of whom were represented by Maynes. (The Bureau of Reclamation in Durango even leases offices in a building owned by Maynes.) The settlement has no basis in any engineering anywhere. These interests hogged all the water in SW Colorado, from nine streams (never even thought of in connection with the original irrigation scheme), and gave it to the Ute Tribes. And this is an important point: this is almost all of Colorado's remaining allocation of Colorado River water, under the Compact. It has been given away to other sovereigns.
In the mid-1980's, the SWCD got Congressional funding and EPA approval for the project, now as an "Indian water rights settlement," by agreeing that there would be no irrigation. Yet the sole purpose of the original project was irrigation: thus, the only possible use for the water was removed by an Act of Congress. Representatives of the SWCD, including their attorneys Sam Maynes and David Robbins, appeared before Congress and swore that they were dropping the use for irrigation, in order to get the funding. However, despite their statements to Congress–and despite never even stating, in an application they filed for diligence on their water rights in 2001, that they were seeking diligence on the use for irrigation--David Robbins assured the water court that they had never meant to give it up, and diligence as to irrigation was decreed. Congress and the EPA were lied to, in other words. These people never had any intention of giving up irrigation.
Another incredible oversight on the part of the ALP attorneys is that they lost the water right for Ridges Basin Reservoir due to their failure to file for diligence on it in 2001. But never mind. As has been typical conduct for them, they created one out of thin air--a total fiction, as to which there was no public notice and no adjudication. They just slipped it into the diligence decree they drafted, so magically there was diligence on that, too, and the court signed it. It is a fraud, and here are the attorneys responsible for it: David Robbins, Susan Schneider, Scott McElroy, Jennifer Hunt, Eve McDonald, and Dan Israel.
Beginning in 2001 and 2002, Citizens' Progressive Alliance contested both the diligence proceedings, and applications to "change" the reserved water rights, in good faith in the water court. Its members include a number of senior water rights owners in Colorado and New Mexico who have had their rights simply stripped away by the ALP deal. CPA has been the subject of sheer harassment by the other side for eight years. The proponents just played games in the court to buy time while they dug their hole. The water court, Judge Gregory Lyman by that time, ceded all control over case management to these project attorneys named above and smiled on the proponents’ attorneys’ misconduct. CPA could not even get any disclosures out of them, as the rules require. The rules didn’t apply to the ALP proponents, in Lyman's court. They were permitted to draft numerous "scheduling orders" exempting themselves from all deadlines and other requirements imposed by the rules, so they could get their project built before any of CPA’s claims were ever decided. CPA never even GOT any disclosures: a billion dollar water project, and the United States’ attorney, Susan Schneider, disclosed not a single person with knowledge of it, nor a single document other than a handful which were already publicly available. When CPA's representatives met with project attorneys two years into the case, after CPA finally got the court to set a date for the proponents’ disclosures, Susan Schneider told CPA flat out, "You're not getting anything." And she was right: CPA didn't get anything. CPA's attorney Alison Maynard moved to compel and for sanctions, and her motion was not only denied, but Judge Lyman warned her she would be subject to sanctions, herself, if she ever moved for sanctions again! So much for enforcement of the rules. CPA didn't get any. Jennifer Hunt, Robbins's associate, also waited until the last day in the period in which discovery was open--it was open for CPA all of two months--to disclose five new witnesses. Sharp practice, to say the least. At the reserved rights trial, CPA had an EPA official ready and willing to testify about the violations of environmental laws and the stipulations the applicants had made to Congress, and how it came to pass that his own disapproval of the project was overridden, and Judge Lyman would not let him testify.
In addition, CPA knew, from other sources, that the practicably irrigable acreage of the reservation had been quantified by both the State of Colorado and the federal government many years earlier, but despite FOIA requests; a FOIA suit in New Mexico; open records act requests in Colorado; and demands for production of documents pursuant to Rule 34 in the water cases, CPA never got ANY of these reports--and they are strictly factual, as engineering. There is nothing confidential about them.
After being jacked around for five years in the water court, only to see Lyman rubberstamp everything the other side asked for and deny CPA everything IT asked for, CPA went to the Colorado Supreme Court, where it saw its diligence appeal get dismissed on a pretext and no opinion whatsoever issue on the reserved rights appeal, 07 SA 100. In 07 SA 100, the Court just issued a one-line order "affirming the decision of the Division 7 water court." Shucks, I bet you thought the Supreme Court had a duty to determine the issues brought to it on appeal, or at least to mention them! And heck, CPA showed the blatant violation of a United States Supreme Court decision! But the Colo. Supreme Court didn't think it worthwhile to decide, or even mention, any of those issues. And it didn’t publish this embarrassing excuse for an appellate opinion, either, showing it knew, itself, it was doing something highly irregular, basing its decision not on the evidence or the law, but on impermissible considerations it wasn't about to disclose. It just swept the case under the rug. Obviously, if the Colorado Supreme Court mentioned the little problems CPA had identified, it would then have to decide the issues in CPA's favor--like the 100 objectors in the case who never stipulated to the "decree," and were never served anything else in the case, just blown off by the development interests and the court; like the fact there is no use for the water whatsoever, and the "project" is totally speculative; and that the Utes and their attorneys, particularly the United States Department of Justice, and the Colorado courts are brazenly thumbing their noses at a United States Supreme Court decision and Act of Congress.
And then there is this string of fraudulent court decrees the ALP attorneys have caused to be entered, treating the water court as their own private playground. Janice Sheftel, and of course her mentor Sam Maynes, kept adding new uses into every diligence application, uses which were never the subject of public notice or any prior diligence decree. Nothing but fraud, all the way around, and Judge Lyman and the Colorado Supreme Court not only looked the other way, they actively enabled it, and acted like CPA had brought no issues to them for determination, at all.
The Colorado Supreme Court has some other serious problems; notably, CPA got three justices of the seven recused from its reserved rights appeal. One in particular, Greg Hobbs, has made public statements advocating for the Animas-La Plata project. He has repeatedly accepted gifts and money and other favors from the Southwestern District and its attorney David Robbins (who is his good friend) and engaged in numerous ex parte contacts with them while our appeals were pending, and before. While CPA did get him recused in the reserved rights case, he did not recuse himself in the diligence case--instead, he unlawfully participated in the order dismissing CPA's appeal. CPA’s attorney has since found herself, for the last 2-1/2 years, having to defend against never-ending groundless disciplinary charges brought against her, as well as unwarranted sanctions imposed by other courts she is practicing in--to the tune now of over two hundred thousand dollars--which she believes Hobbs is behind. In other words, she believes she is being retaliated against for exposing the corruption in this project and in the courts, and for exposing Hobbs's misconduct in particular.
So: a huge boondoggle, and at the bottom of it corruption in the Colorado courts. In addition, the Southwestern Water Conservation District is itself nothing but a racket. It is a money-laundering enterprise. It has no customers, does not supply water to anyone, has no works, no pumps or pipelines (although it now does have this big hole in the ground American taxpayers paid for). The SWCD exists only to tax and speculate in water rights. It brings in about a million dollars a year in tax money and it will not reveal where this money goes (although it does have two law firms working for it, both of whom had attorneys present during our trials, billing the SWCD between $1,000 and $2,000 per hour). It has shown CPA bills from lobbyists, such as Ray Kogovsek in Pueblo, which say simply "Lobbying: $25,000," with no itemization--no indication whatsoever how many lunches Kogovsek bought for which Congressional reps. And it's not simply that $25,000 buys a lot of lunches--it's a MILLION BUCKS A YEAR buying lunches. Or buying something else. Sure wish we knew what--but, of course, we can make an educated guess.