Post failed to note Republican affiliation of indicted former Jeffco treasurer

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

In reporting on a gag order imposed in the case of Mark Paschall, The Denver Post neglected to note that Paschall -- a former Jefferson County treasurer indicted on two felony charges in an alleged kickback scheme -- was an elected Republican official.

A February 13 Denver Post article about a gag order imposed in the case of former Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall, who has been indicted on two felony counts stemming from an alleged attempt to solicit a kickback from a county employee, failed to identify Paschall as a one-time elected Republican official.

The article (an online version appeared February 12), by Post staff writer Ann Schrader, reported that Paschall "was advised Monday in court to have no contact with witnesses in the case." It also noted that Paschall is "a former state legislator, [who] ran for election to a second term as treasurer but lost in the August primary to former County Clerk Faye Griffin," but it did not mention Paschall's GOP affiliation.

In contrast, the Rocky Mountain News on February 13 reported, "Paschall, 52, was defeated in last year's Republican primary, ending his bid for a second term."

A January 29 Post article on Paschall's indictment, also by Schrader, identified Paschall as "a conservative Republican and a former state legislator," and noted that "Paschall has a controversial history." The article further reported:

During four terms as House District 29 representative, Paschall was accused of violating election laws by pocketing thousands of campaign fund dollars without detailing how they were spent.

In 2001, while on a legislative tour of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Paschall offered to have his background checked, and a 1972 marijuana arrest popped up.

The January 29 Post article also reported that Paschall distributed a "Citizens Rule Book" -- advocating jury nullification under the dictum "Rights come from God, not the state" -- in the county building.

As Colorado Media Matters has noted (here and here), KUSA 9News, KMGH 7News, and the News have all omitted Paschall's Republican affiliation in earlier articles reporting his indictment.

From Ann Schrader's February 13 Denver Post article (accessed through the newspaper's electronic edition), "Gag order in Jeffco kickback case":

Golden -- Former Jefferson County Treasurer Mark Paschall, who has been indicted in an alleged kickback plan, was advised Monday in court to have no contact with witnesses in the case.

District Judge Randall Arp also ordered Paschall to remove any firearms from his home while he is under indictment and imposed a gag order in the case.

Paschall, 52, of Arvada, was indicted last month on two felonies -- attempted felony theft and compensation for past official behavior.

Paschall is accused of offering a former top aide, Kathy Redmond, a $25,000 bonus at the end of last year just before he left office and demanding she pay him $9,000 out of post-tax proceeds of the bonus.

Paschall, a former state legislator, ran for election to a second term as treasurer but lost in the August primary to former County Clerk Faye Griffin.


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