-Aspen's historic May 5, 2009 IRV election audited as single ballots- 5/5/09 Aspen CO held an instant runoff election (IRV) for mayor and 2 council members. Interpreted contents of each ballot, scanned by True Ballot, were publicly released. Open records requests for a CD of image scans were denied. Aspen has been sued to protect records from destruction and to allow inspection of the scanned ballot files. A Court of Appeals ruling holds that unidentifiable ballots are public records.
Friday, December 25, 2009
1624 Market Street, Suite 202
Denver, Colorado 80202
December 24, 2009
Mr. John P. Worcester
130 S. Galena Street, 2nd Floor
Aspen, CO 81611
VIA FIRST-CLASS MAIL AND EMAIL
RE: My Letter of November 20, 2009, Discussing City Council’s Violations of Due Process
Dear Mr. Worcester:
I refer to certain allegations made by Mr. Jack Johnson in his complaint submitted to Aspen City
Council on or about October 26, 2009, and to my letter of November 20, 2009, regarding the same.
To date, neither I nor my client, Ms. Elizabeth Milias, has received any response from your office
answering the constitutional due process concerns that I raised in connection with the Council’s
handling of Mr. Johnson’s complaint.
Although Council wisely chose on November 23 not to conduct its promised public rumination of
Mr. Johnson’s allegations outside of the appropriate legal process for handling complaints against
City officials, the City’s subsequent failure to make any public statement disposing of Mr. Johnson’s
allegations has had the troubling effect of leaving Ms. Milias under a cloud of unresolved accusation.
Having twice benefited from the opportunity to use City Council’s public podium to level
unsubstantiated charges against Ms. Milias, Mr. Johnson even now continues to reference his charges
both publicly and privately; the press in Aspen even now continues to cover his allegations made
before Council as though they are proven; and the Mayor himself as recently as December 20
continues to restate as true certain of Mr. Johnson’s allegations of illegality with respect to Ms.
Milias. In this context, the City’s official silence as to the disposition of Mr. Johnson’s allegations
affirmatively compounds the damage that Ms. Milias has incurred and which is continuing.
Ms. Milias therefore demands a written response from your office acknowledging each of the
• Mr. Johnson’s allegations that Ms. Milias has (1) misused or attempted to misuse public
funds; (2) destroyed public records or failed to produce records for public inspection under
the Colorado Open Records Act; (3) participated in email communications and meetings that
violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law; and (4) engaged in any other improper conduct,
are all the purely unproven personal accusations of a private citizen and are not supported by
any factual findings of the Aspen City Council.
• The Aspen City Council has not taken, and does not intend to take, any action in response to
any of the allegations in Mr. Johnson’s private complaint.
• Ms. Milias has not been fired, dismissed, forced or pressured to resign or in any other way
ousted from her position as an Election Commissioner, but instead voluntarily resigned that
position of her own accord on December 2, 2009.
Ms. Milias intends to use such a written statement to defend herself publicly.
The violation of Ms. Milias’s due process rights by the City Council and by its individual members is
established. The only question at this point is whether the City will attempt to walk away from the
harm it has done to Ms. Milias or whether it will now do what it can to help mitigate her damages by
helping to correct the public misimpression of wrongdoing that the Council and its individual
members have created and fostered.
The City’s willingness to provide the written statement requested by this letter will dictate whether
Ms. Milias has any recourse short of pursuing a remedy against the City and individual Council
members in federal district court.
Ms. Milias and I await your reply.
Very truly yours,
Robert A. McGuire, III, Esq.
[letter was also sent to City Council and others]
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