Headlines Feb. 4, 2022
Headlines — February 04, 2022 Shannon Young
Colorado Secretary of State Investigates Third Clerk over Alleged Security Breach
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced yesterday her office has ordered Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Merlin Klotz to disclose information regarding a possible breach of security protocols. Klotz is under investigation for allegedly making an unauthorized copy of his county’s election system server.
Klotz is the third Republican county clerk to be investigated by the Secretary of State’s office. Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Elbert County Clerk Dallas Schroeder are also under investigation for allegedly making unauthorized copies of their county election servers.
Klotz and Schroeder are among five plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit filed against the Secretary of State, claiming the election system software used in 2020 was improperly certified and that Griswold’s office illegally destroyed election records. Griswold has denied the claims against her office by asserting the lawsuit is based on multiple unfounded election conspiracy theories.
Klotz has until February 10 to respond to the order.
Douglas County Teachers Protest Actions by School Board Members
Hundreds of people gathered at the Douglas County School District in Castle Rock on Thursday to protest an alleged secret school board meeting. The protest was organized by the district’s teachers’ union over the alleged school board meeting that was only attended by four of the seven members of the school board.
The Denver Gazette reports that the alleged meeting was attended by Mike Peterson, Christy Williams, Becky Myers and Kaylee Winegar, who reportedly gave Superintendent Corey Wise an ultimatum to either resign or be fired. The three minority members of the school board said they were only informed of the ultimatum after the fact.
If the four board members did make the decision it would have violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law by making a unilateral personnel decision without informing the entire board.
The ultimatum for Wise reportedly came after a contentious meeting last week, where the board voted 4-3 to make changes to the district’s equity policy. Kaylee Winegar, one of the four board members who voted for the change, said that it was the majority’s worry about the possibility of the district teaching critical race theory in Douglas County classrooms.
The district announced it would hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. today at the district’s Castle Rock administration office.
Boulder County Request Debris Removal Funding from FEMA
Boulder County has submitted a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist the communities of Superior, Louisville, and unincorporated Boulder County in funding the safe and proper removal of debris and ash caused by the December 30th Marshall Fire and wind storm.
The request, submitted this week, seeks financial help to remove large debris, including destroyed structures, foundations, damaged trees and vegetation, and contaminated soil which will include sampling and testing. FEMA could take four weeks to complete its review of the request.
FEMA Announces Marshall Fire Disaster Aid Tops $69 Million
According to a joint statement released yesterday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, federal agencies have provided more than $69 million in grants and loans to assist in the recovery from the December 30th fire and wind storm. Those affected by the disaster can still apply for FEMA assistance until March 2nd.
FEMA’s Mitigation Community Education and Outreach team is also providing mitigation advice to community members at the Lowe’s in Louisville until February 8th and at other home improvement retail outlets until March 1st.
Colorado Senate Committee Nixes Proposed Big Cat Hunting Ban
The Colorado Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted down a bill yesterday that would have banned the hunting of mountain lions, bobcats, and Canadian lynx.
According to the Colorado Sun, the committee’s first hearing this session lasted several hours because of the amount of public testimony on the measure. The Colorado Sun reports the Humane Society supported the bill, but it faced fierce opposition by hunters, anglers, farmers and other opponents who flooded the email inboxes of lawmakers with comments about the legislation. The debate on the measure became so contentious that three of the bill’s sponsors pulled their support.
The committee rejected the bill by a vote of 4 to 1, with the lone vote in favor of the measure coming from remaining sponsor Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis of Boulder County.
Headlines — February 04, 2022 Shannon Young