Libby Szabo Makes Jeffco Taxpayers Buy Her a New Car So She Can Reach the Pedals

Libby Szabo Gets a New Car

Jeffco Commissioner Libby Szabo (not actual size).

When Republican Libby Szabo announced in January that she would resign from the State House in order to fill a vacancy on the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, she was roundly criticized; the editorial board of the Denver Post said Szabo was “thumbing her nose at voters” by resigning her seat just two months after winning re-election to a third term in the House.

If Szabo’s job-hopping was “thumbing her nose” at voters, then she has since moved along to the middle finger. Szabo is now driving around in a brand-new, $40,000 car that was purchased specifically for her transportation needs as a county commissioner. Jefferson County Commissioners are technically allowed to request the use of a county-owned vehicle, but the other two Commissioners (Don Rosier and Casey Tighe) choose to drive their own personal cars rather than accept the kind of ridiculous perk that used to be common in scandal-ridden Jefferson County (former County Treasurer Mark Paschall, who was indicted over corruption allegations, once demanded that the county buy him a Cadillac Escalade).

It may be an oxymoron to call any Ford Taurus “top-of-the-line,” but county officials nevertheless sprung for the most expensive model because of an odd request from Szabo: She needed a car with “special pedals” because she is too short to drive a regular model.

No, seriously. We couldn’t possibly invent a story this absurd.

Jefferson County bought a new Ford Taurus SHO for Commissioner Libby Szabo.

Jefferson County bought a new Ford Taurus SHO for Commissioner Libby Szabo and billed taxpayers the $40,000.

Szabo is indeed a fairly short individual, but for years she drove her own vehicle back and forth from Arvada to the State Capitol in Denver. Maybe Szabo’s personal vehicle needed replacing, but you’d think she could find enough money in her $86,000 salary to buy her own car. Szabo no doubt understands the poor optics behind this request, because Jeffco purchased the Szabo-mobile two weeks before the County Commissioners voted to approve the expenditure (the invoice from Larry H. Miller Ford Lakewood is dated March 16; the expenditure was not formally approved by the Commissioners until March 26).

If you’re still inclined to shrug this off, we’ll leave you with the opening lines of this Denver Post story from reporter Joe Vaccarelli, which was first published just a few days before the county purchased Szabo’s new vehicle.

Libby Szabo always tries to lead by example.

Whether wanting to get a message across to her four kids, coaching youth soccer for 10 years or working across the aisle on a bill in the state legislature, she feels that actions speak louder than words.

“I think the best way to instill something in your children is to actually do it and let them see you do it,” Szabo said.

Indeed.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. rathmone says:

    Good thing she got special pedals so she can really burn rubber. SHO stands for “Super High Output.” It’s a sports car. From the Ford website:

    http://www.ford.com/cars/taurus/trim/sho/

    For the True Driving EnthusiastTaurus SHO offers the ultimate marriage of performance and refinement with a collection of performance-enhancing upgrades. Delivering more power, heightened control and sportier style, SHO is equally at home on the streets or on the track.

  2. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    My tax dollars at work! #headdesk

  3. BlueCatBlueCat says:

    Just curious. How short is she. I’m 5′ nothing and my ordinary Nissan, like all my former cars and every rental I’ve driven, adjusts to allow me to drive just fine. Have female relatives who are even a little shorter, down to as short as 4’10 1/2″, who also drive with no “special pedals”. If she’s even shorter than that she probably does have a hard time driving within the adjustable range of an ordinary car. So just how short is she and can I go stand next to her in heels so I can feel long and leggy.

  4. SocialisticatProgressicat says:

    Here’s how tall she is in reams of paper.

    and in Ryan Calls (too soon?).

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Don’t know how tall Call is but it looks pretty much (in terms of relative height only) like me, with some help from my shoes, next to my 6′ 1″‘ husband and I don’t need anything special to drive. The seat in my model goes forward, back, up, down enough to accommodate us both. Fortunately we only drive in mine together on weekends because he can’t even get into it without sliding the seat back and down first and we have to make radical changes to the steering wheel and mirrors too.  

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      The stack of paper is 56″ tall. That’s 4’8″ tall. Because there are 28 reams of copy paper, and the standard size is 2″ thick. She’s maybe 5,6 inches taller than the paer, so that makes her about 5’2 or 5’3″.

      No reason to buy the special car.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      Progressicat — you may have just started a new unit of measurement on Colorado Pols. From now on, the height of a politician will be listed in “reams of paper.”

  5. DavieDavie says:

    Turns out the mid-level SEL model ($29,485 MSRP) can be had with the power adjustable pedals as part of a $1,000 accessory package.  Not sure why she needed the extra $10k in goodies (and presumably the MSRP was a bit more than that as typically, fleet buyers get a hefty discount off list price).

    Must of needed the 365 bhp motor to scoot to the office in time.

  6. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    This, my friends, is what we call a “dead skunk in the middle of the road”…stinkin’ to high heaven!

    TOH to Loudon Wainwright III

  7. Gray in Mountains says:

    Is this for M-F daytime use and stashed in county barn each night? Or, does she take it home?

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