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June 17, 2008 05:51 PM UTC

Ritter's Kolomitz Problem Won't Go Away

  • 13 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Pueblo Chieftain reports:

A second look at Bill Ritter’s campaign records revealed more money the governor’s former campaign manager improperly handled.

As a result, Greg Kolomitz repaid an additional $10,000 to the campaign, Ritter’s press secretary, Evan Dreyer, said Monday.

Earlier this year, Kolomitz resigned as head of Ritter’s campaign after the governor’s staff uncovered evidence that Kolomitz improperly paid himself more than $83,000 from the governor’s inaugural account, all of which he’s since repaid.

A second look at those records, prompted by an inquiry from The Pueblo Chieftain, revealed that he also received three additional “unauthorized” payments of $37,500.

The La Junta native, however, had not been reimbursed $27,159 in campaign expenses, leaving a balance of $10,340, which Kolomitz has repaid the campaign. “Although Mr. Kolomitz has reimbursed the campaign in full for the above-referenced unauthorized payments, the campaign requests that you review the information contained herein in order to determine whether an injury or full investigation of the matter is appropriate,” Ritter’s attorney, Michael Plachy, wrote to Tom Malone, investigator for the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office…

No charges have yet been filed against Kolomitz because the investigation is continuing, said Kathleen Walsh, spokeswoman for Arapahoe District Attorney Carol Chambers.

Comments

13 thoughts on “Ritter’s Kolomitz Problem Won’t Go Away

  1. Between Ritter, Dodd, Conrad and Blagojevich this last week, it looks like I can add Ds to the corruption list just like all the Rs.  

    Why can’t people just play it straight when elected?  Boo!

    1. In April, Governor Ritter immediately and publicly released the results of the audit of the inaugural committee accounts and simultaneously sent the audit to John Suthers, the Republican Attorney General; Mike Coffman, the Republican Secretary of State; and to Mitch Morrisey, the Denver (Democrat) District Attorney for investigation.  Mr. Morrisey refered the criminal investigation to Carol Chambers, the Republican District Attorney from Arapahoe County.  

      Now, Governor Ritter has refered the audit of the campaign committee accounts to the same officials for investigation.

      The misappropriation of inaugural and campaign funds was done by an employee of those committees, not by the Governor.  We don’t call a bank president corrupt when a teller embezzels funds from the bank.  The teller is the one held responsible.

      Any attempt to smear Governor Ritter is without foundation.  

    2. I’m not saying all of the above are crystal clean. But Ritter sure appears to be someone who trusted the wrong person. But as you go through life you do need to trust people and sometimes they violate that trust.

      I’ve yet to see anything in this other than Ritter responding totally on the up & up.

      1. The problems are fresh, everyone’s still alive and Ritter is “uncovering” it all himself. His skeletons would be when he killed a monkey and ate a man, or however that went, and that had zero effect. But your concern is appreciated.

    3. Ritter’s problem isn’t a case of his own corruption, Blagojevich is Really Old News Recycled (and, frankly, part of a long-term trend in Illinois), and Conrad and (especially) Dodd’s Countrywide “deals” were vastly overstated (real benefit was perhaps $2k for Dodd, not the $58k originally published).

      If you want to look to the Dem side, I’d look at Murtha and give up Ritter, Dodd, and Conrad as non-starters.

      Corruption is universal, but the two parties have gone about it similar to their general dispositions: Republicans have institutionalized it while Dems appear to be much more individual in their approach.

      1. it’s easier to institutionalize corruption when you’ve got the White House, Congress, the Court and K Street in your grip. Something about the absolute power Republicans enjoyed for six years this decade. Democrats will have to watch out for that after sweeping to power across the board this fall.

          1. We have to change the ground rules early on.  I’m very encouraged by Obama’s changes in DNC fundraising as a start.  Repealing some of the more odious aspects of corporate personhood would also go a long way – I see no problem with allowing unions, PACs or corporations to funnel the money of their contributors into a campaign or lobbying effort in a transparent manner, but see no justification for those same organizations to spend their collective money essentially bypassing individual contribution limits and overwhelming the capabilities of real U.S. citizens to counter-act them.

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