Where Do These Rogue Clerks Get Off, Anyway?

Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroder.

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports on court action last week in the case between Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder. Schroeder, as readers will recall, has admitted to making unauthorized copies of election system computer hard drives in a similar effort to Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is currently facing felony charges after election system data was copied and leaked to conspiracy theorists seeking (unsuccessfully) for evidence the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.

The difference in Elbert County Clerk Schroeder’s case, and most likely why he’s not (for now) facing prison time like Clerk Peters, is that Schroeder doesn’t appear to have distributed the data to anyone except an outside attorney for “safekeeping.” The problem of course is that Clerk Schroeder has no right to do any of this–and certainly no right to refuse a request by the Secretary of State to return this proprietary data.

As always seems to be the case, it takes a judge to cut through the nonsense:

An Elbert County District Court judge on Friday ordered Elbert County Clerk and Recorder Dallas Schroeder to turn over all copies of election hard drive images he made by 5 p.m. Wednesday and overruled objections his attorneys made in court last week about why he should not be required to…

In Friday’s order, Judge Kramer wrote that the two election orders Griswold issued were within her statutory rights as secretary of state and that Schroeder must comply with both.

“The fact that the Clerk and Recorder does not trust the Secretary of State to perform her official duties does not excuse his duty to comply with her orders,” Judge Kramer wrote… [Pols emphasis]

And if pointing out that obvious fact wasn’t enough, the judge gave Clerk Schroeder a refresher course in what being in authority over another person, you know, means:

“Because the Colorado Election Code places the Secretary of State in a position superior to the county Clerk and Recorder, Griswold’s right to the information she seeks is superior to Schroeder’s right to withhold the information from her,” Kramer wrote in the order.

Setting aside Trump’s discredited conspiracy theories as judges and other reasonable people do from the outset, the whole thing is pretty simple: the Secretary of State is the boss of the county clerks. County clerks are therefore required to follow the orders of the Secretary of State. This is a conversation we would expect to have with a millennial kid with no work experience who imagines they know better than their boss.

It’s refreshing to see the judge shut this silliness down…well, like a boss.

And with that, the streak of the “Big Lie” getting laughed out of court continues unbroken.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    "This is a conversation we would expect to have with a millennial kid with no work experience who imagines they know better than their boss."

    There you go. Generational warfare, again.

  2. type8100 says:

    Long-time reader and fan. I don't appreciate the generational warfare, however. It's unbecoming of, and below the writers to do that. 

    • Duke Cox says:

      I agree, generally. Beyond a good natured, humorous understanding of reality, I am not a supporter of the principle that age or generational considerations are acceptable.

      I am a boomer, but I daresay I don't really fit in the box my granddaughters' friends imagine I inhabit. Our collective future requires a collective effort. Let's not allow our relative time on earth to prejudice our opinions of each other.


    • Moderatus says:

      Especially since people become more conservative as they get older. Who will Colorado Pols have to kick around in ten years?

      • MichaelBowman says:

        There'll be plenty of us left in a decade Fluffy.  We'll still be referred to in Colorado as 'the majority".

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          We'll still be referred to in Colorado as 'the majority super majority'.

          Fixed it for you Mike.

          My experience has been that as folks get older, they realize what total bullshit conservative principles are.  "Freedom for me from mask mandates but none for women because I'm not one of them.'

      • JohnInDenver says:

        That is an interesting myth, Moderatus … my experience is people become more of what they really want to be as they age.  That can mean more conservative … but I also have some older friends who have become flaming liberals on the verge of radicalism. 

        I can hardly wait to see what happens with some of my mentors in my professional academic years (1979-93).  They were "professional" and restrained in supporting the right to privacy and reproductive choice.  Now, they are affluent, retired 70-85 year old women who I expect feel no need to be restrained. 

  3. JeffcoBlue says:

    As an aging boomer, if I complained this much when another generation cracked a joke at my expense I would expect to get bum rushed.

    Then again my generation is actually responsible for the world's problems, right kids?

    Lighten up.

  4. 2Jung2Die says:

    Millennials are turning 40 now – just a thought for the folks who remember "don't trust anyone over 30."

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    These county clerks are taking their cues from county sheriffs (Republicans naturally) who think they get to decide which laws to enforce.  It all seems so reminiscent of petty criminals who ignore or break the rules that hinder their crimes.

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