Post again failed to identify accused Jeffco Commissioner Congrove as a Republican

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

A February 28 Denver Post article reported on the investigation into allegations that Republican Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Congrove improperly used taxpayer money to hire a private detective, but it failed to mention Congrove's party affiliation. It is the second time in less than a week the Post has made such an omission.

Reporting on the continuing investigation into allegations that Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Congrove inappropriately used taxpayer money, The Denver Post failed to identify Congrove as an elected Republican officeholder in a February 28 article. The Post made a similar omission in a February 25 editorial, as Colorado Media Matters noted.

According to the Post article of February 28, "Jefferson County commissioners have agreed to waive attorney-client privileges so members of the county attorney staff can speak with state investigators about the use of public money to hire a private eye." The Post further reported:

Professional Investigators Inc. -- run by former Denver officer Daril Cinquanta -- was paid more than $7,500 last year to investigate several people, including a critic of county officials.

Commissioner Jim Congrove urged former County Attorney Frank Hutfless to use Cinquanta to investigate private citizens and county employees.

In contrast, the Rocky Mountain News noted Congrove's GOP affiliation in a February 28 article about the ongoing investigation into his alleged wrongdoing. The News reported:

GOLDEN -- Jefferson County commissioners Tuesday took the unusual step of freeing its legal staff from their confidentiality pledges, allowing them to talk to investigators about the county's use of a private detective who is a close friend of Commissioner Jim Congrove.

[...]

District Attorney Scott Storey, whose office covers Jefferson and Gilpin counties, asked for the CBI inquiry following allegations by former Commissioner Dave Auburn and others that Congrove "created an environment of fear" by ordering investigations of current and former employees, private citizens and an attorney representing someone suing Congrove and other county officials.

Congrove, a Republican and former state legislator, has said the allegations are "all lies."

According to Jefferson County's website, "Congrove was elected Jefferson County Commissioner in November 2004 and represents District 1 in the northern part of the county." The county's alphabetical listing of all county commissioners, past and current, indicates Congrove has been a Republican commissioner since taking office in 2005.

From the February 28 Denver Post article by Ann Schrader, "Jeffco lets staffers talk to investigators":

Golden -- Jefferson County commissioners have agreed to waive attorney-client privileges so members of the county attorney staff can speak with state investigators about the use of public money to hire a private eye.

[...]

Professional Investigators Inc. -- run by former Denver officer Daril Cinquanta -- was paid more than $7,500 last year to investigate several people, including a critic of county officials.

Commissioner Jim Congrove urged former County Attorney Frank Hutfless to use Cinquanta to investigate private citizens and county employees.

Commissioner Kevin McCasky said he joined Congrove and former Commissioner Dave Auburn in approving the surveillance expense.

[...]

On Feb. 16, Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to look into allegations that taxpayer money was misused for surveillance.

McCasky said he did not know of a timetable for the CBI investigation.

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