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February 28, 2007 08:08 PM UTC

There's Something in the Water

  • by: Colorado Pols

What’s up with Denver politicos these days? First there was former state Sen. Rob Hernandez, who robbed his own house, or business, or something.

Now Denver’s City Attorney is stepping down amid accusations that he stole a city laptop, which he laughably claimed to have purchased from some guy outside a city building. As The Denver Post reports:

Denver City Attorney Larry Manzanares resigned Tuesday – less than two months after he took office – done in by a stolen computer he said he bought from a man in a parking lot. The move punctuated a four-day controversy for the former judge and Harvard Law School alumnus and created a setback for Mayor John Hickenlooper’s administration.

“His whole life, he has lectured on ethics,” Hickenlooper said of Manzanares. “I don’t know what was going through his head. But I don’t think that makes him a bad person. I think it’s, in all dimensions, tragic.”

Manzanares had hoped to get past the controversy, even after Hickenlooper placed him on leave Friday. He said he was “embarrassed and mortified,” to learn the computer was stolen but planned to “deal with it.”

On Tuesday, however, Manzanares said the media attention surrounding him “created an untenable distraction for the mayor’s office and the position of Denver city attorney.”

A special prosecutor at the Jefferson County district attorney’s office has been named to investigate how Manzanares had the computer.


15 thoughts on “There’s Something in the Water

  1. I hope the criminal investigation doesn’t lead to charges against him (if it doesn’t, he would be guilty only of very poor judgment on one occasion).  In that scenario, hopefully his career will recovery quickly in some fashion.

      1. I said that, if the criminal investigation fails to lead to criminal charges (i.e., if independent investigators do not find probable cause to believe he committed a crime), then I will believe him.  Given his stellar reputation until this point, that is the fairest and most reasonable option, IMO.

        1. Assuming he didn’t know it was stolen, he’s a good man who made a BIG mistake.

          I’m sure the Jeffco investigators will be looking carefully to see if the laptop had any identifying marks or software that should have led him to believe it was Denver Court property.

          What I’m having a hard time with – and I like Manzanares, I really do – is his claim that he can’t remember what he paid for the laptop. Heck, I can remember exactly what I paid for my wife’s laptop a year ago.

          I read in the Denver Daily News that he was at home crying this weekend. I’m sure it’s agonizing for him. I hope he picks himself up, dusts himself off, and remembers that America gives second chances and that “You’re going to make mistakes in life. It’s what you do after the mistakes that counts.” – Brandi Chastain

    1. How easy it is to blow a career and life.

      How do you pass the law without knowing it’s illegal to steal laptops from court rooms?

      Do you think he’ll go into rehab, or something?

  2. The Dems have really shown their ethical colors.  Did you see that Nancy P just promoted “$90G in the Freezer” Jefferson to the Homeland Security committee?  At least it took awhile for the Republicans to abuse power. 

    1. Little late on that one aren’t you.

      Still, Dems are tackling issues neo-cons never dared to touch. They were to afraid to upset Bush, the Oil Industry, the Insurance industry, and all others they lined their pockets.

    2. Actually, it did not. Based on the testimony, it started back in the early 90’s. However, I have said multiple times if the dems want the whitehouse in 08, they need to keep their nose clean and focus on doing what the republicans would not do (dealing with the war, solving the deficits, the terrorists issues,etc). And in my book, they are failing. In particular, I am disgusted with NP in that she is doing exactly what she said that she would not do; push dirty ppl. Murtha was questionable (along the lines of McCain). But Jefferson???? The man belongs in the same prison with all the other crooks; Abramhoff, delay, ney, W., Cheney, etc.

      I have noticed  that the dems are not pushing to have W. to ungag Sibel Edmunds. I would think that if she had only republicans that they would not push that. makes me wonder.

      1. Why is Jefferson not indicted yet?

        Why is it that the alleged evidence – tape-recordings, $90k in the fridge, an acquaintance already indicted – not enough to get this man under indictment?  You’d think it would be simple enough that a single Grand Jury term would cover it.

        So why isn’t he indicted?  Is he more useful still running around?  Or is something fishy about the “evidence”?

        Personally, he sounds guilty as hell.  But at what point and time to you as a supposedly fair leader have to step back and let someone take their place due to lack of anything more than an allegation?

          1. I’m with you and probably everyone else here on this: Jefferson looks guilty, guilty, guilty.

            But he’s said he’d be exonerated, and it’s unusual for an investigation to go on this long, with this much evidence, and still not have an indictment.

            I really, really wish someone would come forward with the skinny on this.

            Pelosi kicked Jefferson off of all of his committee assignments last year when this stuff first came out.  He didn’t get the top committee assignments he might/should have gotten this year when Congress convened with Democrats in the majority.  It’s not like the Democrats have been overflowing with largesse for Rep. Jefferson all this time, which is another reason why this story hasn’t gotten much play now.  My read is, you can only wait so long for a corruption charge to come out before you have to back off a bit…

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