Boyles made fact-free remarks about Voorhis case development

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

Peter Boyles of 630 KHOW-AM on November 8 made various false claims while discussing the recent indictment of a federal immigration agent accused of illegally obtaining information later used in an attack ad against then-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter. Boyles asserted that Ritter was "going after" the agent, claimed "the same thing was done" by an employee of Ritter's office, and stated that the claim made in the ad was "the truth." But widespread reporting contradicts all his claims.

On his November 8 broadcast, 630 KHOW-AM's Peter Boyles made several false claims related to the recent indictment of Cory Voorhis, a federal immigration agent accused of improperly obtaining information later used by 2006 Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez's campaign in an attack ad against opponent Bill Ritter (D). After claiming that now-Gov. Ritter is "going after Voorhis," Boyles further asserted that while Ritter was Denver district attorney, "one of his own guys" did "exactly the same thing" as Voorhis. In fact, Ritter was not Denver district attorney when an employee of the Denver DA's office reportedly accessed the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for allegedly illegitimate purposes. Moreover, contrary to Boyles' implication that Ritter is personally "going after Voorhis," officials reportedly moved leadership of the investigation into Voorhis' alleged illegal use of the NCIC database from Colorado to a U.S. attorney in Wyoming, "to avoid any conflicts of interest involving Voorhis and federal prosecutors in Denver," according to an October 25 Denver Post article.

Boyles repeated the unsubstantiated claim that one of the cases cited in Beauprez's 2006 attack ad, accusing Ritter of offering "agricultural trespass plea bargains to illegals," involved a "heroin dealer" and was "the truth." As Colorado Media Matters noted when Boyles made the same claim on October 20, 2006, according to the Denver district attorney's office, prosecutors could not establish that the man pictured in the ad sponsored by the Beauprez campaign was, in fact, a "heroin dealer."

1. Ritter is "going after Voorhis"

Referring to the governor as "Tax Ritter," Boyles said, "Mind you, it's Tax that's going after Voorhis. Tax's guys are going after Voorhis." Later, Boyles called Voorhis' indictment "political prosecution."

While then-gubernatorial candidate Ritter requested that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigate Voorhis' use of the NCIC database in October 2006, "The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] Office of Professional Responsibility and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation," according to the October 25 Post article. Contrary to Boyles' assertion, the Post further reported that the probe "was placed under the control of John Green, the acting U.S. attorney for Wyoming, to avoid any conflicts of interest involving Voorhis and federal prosecutors in Denver."

Similarly, on October 27, the Rocky Mountain News reported, "The legal oversight of the case was moved from Colorado's U.S. Attorney's Office to its counterpart in Wyoming, because the investigation has focused on a federal immigration agent who worked on cases handled by federal prosecutors in Denver, according to sources familiar with the transfer."

2. "The same thing was done" inside of Ritter's office

During the November 8 broadcast, Boyles claimed that "the exact same thing that he [Voorhis] is being prosecuted for was done in the same time period by an employee in the Denver DA's office." Boyles then added, "Gee, who was DA at the time? That's right -- the governor, 'Tax' Ritter." Later Boyles asserted, "But here, right under the eyes of "Both-Ways" Bill Ritter, one of his own guys was doing it as well. That person has not been prosecuted or charged."

The Post reported on November 8 that Voorhis allegedly accessed the confidential information for Beauprez's campaign in 2006 and that the anti-Ritter attack ad "ran in late September 2006." Ritter, however, served as Denver's district attorney from 1992-2004. The Post further noted that according to a motion filed November 6 by Voorhis' attorney, NCIC information allegedly obtained by an employee of the Denver district attorney's office was "given to District Attorney Mitch Morrissey," who was in charge of the office at the time. According the Post:

A week after the ad first ran, a "senior, long-time" Denver deputy district attorney asked an employee to access information about the man in the ad, according to federal and state records cited by Voorhis' attorneys.

The employee could not find the information in the Colorado database, so NCIC "had to have been accessed in order to get information," according to her statement to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation cited in Voorhis' motion.

The NCIC information was then printed by the employee and given to District Attorney Mitch Morrissey for "informational purposes," she said.

Whether that information was given to Ritter, who was Morrissey's predecessor, or his campaign, "I don't know," said Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the DA's office.

In addition, a November 8 News article -- which Boyles cited on his program -- noted that the Denver DA's office allegedly accessed the NCIC database "days after Voorhis did":

The others, not named, are described as an employee in the Denver District Attorney's Office and an investigator with the Harris County, Texas, District Attorney's Office. The motion said the Texas investigator was affiliated with a private investigator under contract to the Colorado Republican Party.

The motion contends that both people accessed the same information for political reasons days after Voorhis did, but neither was charged.

After repeating several times during the broadcast the falsehood that an employee in Ritter's DA office misused the NCIC database, Boyles finally acknowledged in the third hour of his show that the alleged infraction took place under Morrissey's office. Boyles referred to Morrissey as "tied at the hip to Tax Ritter":

BOYLES: But here we found out October the 12th, 2006, that Denver DA's employ -- someone in Morrissey's office, who, of course, is tied at the hip to Tax Ritter, and no one said anything about these guys. This is beauty. And Lynn Kimbrough said -- Kimbrough, who, you know, that's her job to spin the story: "Oh no, it's not the same." Oh yes, it is.

3. Beauprez's ad accusing Ritter of giving an agricultural plea bargain to a "heroin dealer" was "the truth"

In stating that Voorhis "knew that Tax Ritter had given some agricultural trespass plea bargains to illegals," Boyles dubiously claimed, "One in particular was a heroin dealer." He added, "And that was used by Both-Ways [Beauprez] in an ad against Bill Ritter, accusing Tax Ritter of giving plea bargains on drug charges to illegals. It was, by the way, the truth."

In fact, as Colorado Media Matters noted when Boyles made the claim more than a year earlier, the Denver district attorney's office stated that prosecutors could not establish that the man at the center of the allegations, identified as Walter Ramo, was a "heroin dealer."

The written version of an October 11, 2006, KUSA 9News "Truth Test" analysis of the anti-Ritter ad stated, "Denver District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said the only witness to Ramo's alleged heroin dealing was the driver of the car he was arrested with. Ramo had no drugs in his possession when he was arrested and the heroin was found in the floorboard of the driver's car. Criminal background checks on the driver revealed a prior felony conviction for drug dealing."

Similarly, the written version of KCNC CBS4's "Reality Check" from October 12, 2006, reported that "Kimbrough said the case [against Ramo] had evidence problems." CBS4 further reported:

What kind of problems? Before police arrested Ramo in 2001, he was spotted getting out of a car. Police arrested the driver of that car, and found him with drugs. The driver said he bought the drugs from Ramo. When police caught up with Ramo, they found he had no drugs, and no criminal record in Colorado. But the driver who told police about Ramo did have a criminal record. So prosecutors found themselves wondering who to believe.

From the November 8 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

BOYLES: Voorhis' attorneys -- and I have all of the documents in front of me -- are now pointing out that the exact same thing that he is being prosecuted for was done in the same time period by an employee in the Denver DA's office. Gee, who was DA at the time? That's right -- the governor, "Tax" Ritter. Mind you, it's Tax that's going after Voorhis. Tax's guys are going after Voorhis. But it was in the courts yesterday. The attorneys for Voorhis say he's a selected target. I believe he is as well. Voorhis, of course, is charged with leaking information from a national crime database to "Both-Ways" Bob Beauprez to use them as attacks on "Tax" Ritter. And Voorhis is charged three misdemeanors, and he's on paid leave right now. Surprise, surprise. Guess who else did it? An employee yet to be named in the Denver DA's office. And an investigator in Harris County, Texas, in their DA's office. They have done exactly the same things, particularly out of the Denver DA's office, and they are not being charged. Gee, it's so hard for me to believe that, isn't it? That's, so they've clipped Voorhis, right? But here, right under the eyes of "Both-Ways" Bill Ritter, one of his own guys was doing it as well. That person has not been prosecuted or charged. Also, some investigator in the Harris County, Texas, DA's office -- and that's, I, there's some kind of a nexus there, you can almost bet your hat on it. And these unnamed people did exactly the same thing for political reasons when Voorhis allegedly did. But neither one of them was charged. Payback time is coming for Voorhis. Now, let's see what "Tax" Ritter, let's see what the U.S. attorney in Wyoming will now do. Because they're gonna have to name these characters. I love this stuff.

[...]

BOYLES: It's alleged that Voorhis was the source for Both-Ways Bob Beauprez when Voorhis, as an ICE agent, who has an incredible career with ICE, knew that Tax Ritter had given some agricultural trespass plea bargains to illegals. One in particular was a heroin dealer. And that was used by Both-Ways in an ad against Bill Ritter, accusing Tax Ritter of giving plea bargains on drug charges to illegals. It was, by the way, the truth. Well, they've gone after him, which I think is nothing more than -- it was political prosecution. Having said that -- surprise, surprise -- the attorneys for agent Voorhis have discovered that the same thing was done in where? The DA's office. That's right. Inside of Tax Ritter's office, they did exactly the same thing. Apparently, as did an investigator with Harris County, Texas, district attorney's office. Here's Lynn Kimbrough, who said, "Oh, it's not even close; no comparison between our office accessing NCIC and what Mr. Voorhis is alleged to have done." That's right, Lynn, who works for -- worked for Tax then, and now works for Mitch Morrissey. So she's, as always, she spins the story their way. But Voorhis says, look, he's accessed the NCIC was for legitimate law-enforcement purposes because he was checking the immigration status of certain individuals and concerned they might flee to evade arrest or deportation. A heroin dealer illegally in the country? Why would Voorhis think that? So Voorhis, says his attorneys, was singled out for prosecution because he exercised his right to petition a member of Congress and because he spoke out in a political campaign about law-enforcement policy he believed violated the law, wasted taxpayers' money, and endangered the public. Well said, Mr. Voorhis. Tax and the boys went after him. But surprise, surprise: Tax Ritter's office did the same thing. They went into the computer, and nothing was done. Let's see what happens next.

[...]

BOYLES: From the FBI and -- FBI, CBI investigation, it appears that the same time Voorhis, the -- and also a Harris County investigator -- Harris County, Texas -- and a Denver DA employee engaged in precisely the same conduct that going into the NCIC database related to Ramo -- was the guy name -- yet only Voorhis has been charged. Let me tell you who this guy -- let me tell you something about your date, who this guy was: Walter Noel Ramos. Walter was a man who thought it was perfectly OK to sell heroin, and he's an illegal alien, and then he got a ag trespass. God. But here we found out October the 12th, 2006, that Denver DA's employ -- someone in Morrissey's office, who, of course, is tied at the hip to Tax Ritter, and no one said anything about these guys. This is beauty. And Lynn Kimbrough said -- Kimbrough, who, you know, that's her job, to spin the story: "Oh no, it's not the same." Oh yes, it is.

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