Ex-Ritter aide starts defense fund

Greg Kolomitz, former campaign manager to Gov. Bill Ritter, has started a defense fund to pay his legal bills, and his wife has e-mailed friends alleging that Kolomitz has been “falsely accused” of mismanaging campaign and inaugural funds.

The e-mail plea never mentions Ritter by name, but leaves no doubt about who the family thinks is responsible for the “false” accusations that led to an ongoing investigation of Kolomitz.

“We have found ourselves in a legal battle with someone whom we believed to be our friend. Someone who Greg (and I to a lesser extent) gave our lives to – in a political battle – to elect as governor of our wonderful state, Colorado,” wrote Carla Lucero Kolomitz, in an e-mail circulated to the couple’s friends.

Carla Kolomitz also said they were struggling with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills and asked people to donate anonymously to the legal fund.

On Tuesday, Greg Kolomitz said asking for help was difficult.

“It’s very painful and humbling to ask your friends for help, but I appreciate everybody’s support,” he said.

In April, Ritter alleged that Kolomitz had wrongly used inaugural funds to pay off more than $200,000 in campaign debt and also had overpaid himself by about $83,000. Kolomitz paid back the overpayment, and Ritter’s campaign committee took out a $200,000 loan – using the governor’s house as collateral – to repay the money.

Ritter turned the matter over to a number of law enforcement agencies. Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers is conducting an investigation to decide whether Kolomitz should face charges.

The e-mails are the first time Kolomitz or his wife has initiated a public defense. In the past, Kolomitz has said only that he used “poor judgment” and has declined, as he did again Tuesday, to speak about the issue. His wife’s e-mail notes that the lawyers “will not allow us to talk about the facts right now.”

Kolomitz is being represented by Barry Schwartz, a partner at Kam let Shepherd & Reichert, and Rick Kornfeld of Recht & Kornfeld.

The legal defense fund is being overseen by Robert Kaufmann, an attorney at Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck and friend of the Kolomitzes. He said money has started to come in, though he declined to say how much.

“People are contributing so the bills will not be such a burden on the family,” he said.


3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Danstevens80304 says:

    Where is the Sheila MacDonald Defense fund?  That whole firm is sinking!

  2. parsingreality says:

    What is this, Watergate?  At the minimum, by definition, that’s $200K.  At $400/hr, that’s 500 hours, already.  

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