Andrews' Post column ignored Centennial City Council candidate's criminal record

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

In an October 21 Denver Post column about local elections, radio host and former Colorado Senate president John Andrews (R) discussed two Centennial City Council candidates without mentioning that one, whom he identified as "a Republican," has a criminal record. That candidate, George Jia Shen, pleaded guilty to harassment and is under a restraining order to stay away from his former girlfriend.

In an October 21 Denver Post column, Republican former Colorado Senate president and Backbone Radio host John Andrews provided information on candidates for Centennial's city council but omitted office-seeker George Jia Shen's legal troubles. Shen recently pleaded guilty to harassment, was sentenced to two years' probation, and is under a permanent restraining order to stay away from his former girlfriend. Andrews described him only as "a Republican but barely out of college and in various ways not ready for prime time."

Commenting on his local election, Andrews wrote, "For city council in our ward, the options are George Shen and Patrick Anderson. For school board, we can pick between Jim O'Brien and Jennifer Herrera for one seat, Steve de Carteret and Randy Perlis for another." He added, "While I'm grateful to them for running, who are these people?" But in providing information about the candidates, Andrews ignored Shen's arrests:

One learns that the second name in each pair is a Democrat, while O'Brien and de Carteret "espouse Republican principles" but aren't registered as such, and Shen is a Republican but barely out of college and in various ways not ready for prime time.

However, as the Rocky Mountain News reported on October 18, Shen "pleaded guilty in May to harassing a former girlfriend, including stalking her." The News further reported:

George Jia Shen, 23, was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to get a mental health evaluation and treatment.

He is under a permanent retraining order to stay away from the woman, who lives in Highlands Ranch, according to court records and Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

Shen had a previous arrest for misdemeanor disorderly conduct involving a weapon in June 2006. That charge was not related to the stalking charge.

The News also reported that according to an affidavit filed in the case, Shen had "made numerous harassing phone calls" to his ex-girlfriend and followed her to work, school, and home.

The matter came to a head on Dec. 10, 2006, when Shen showed up at her house with seven guns and ammunition, according to an affidavit.

That time he was arrested, according to CBI [Colorado Bureau of Investigation] records.

He pleaded guilty to harassment, a class 3 misdemeanor, on May 31.

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