Judge to rule in lawsuit over Prop. 102 finances

A Denver judge is expected to rule by year’s end whether the group behind Proposition 102 on this year’s ballot violated the state’s campaign finance laws.

The lawsuit, filed by the left-leaning Colorado Ethics Watch, contends the group, Safe Streets Colorado, raised and spent money to launch its campaign without properly reporting its activities to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, as required by law.

The proposition was designed to dramatically limit types of people who could use the 10 pretrial service programs in the state, including one in Mesa County. The measure failed.

The programs are designed to help ensure that people charged with crimes actually show up to court. But bail bonding companies, including some from out of state, oppose the programs, in part, because they take business away from them.

“Our efforts to hold groups accountable for violating Colorado campaign finance laws don’t end on Election Day,” Luis Toro, Colorado Ethics Watch director, said in a statement. “We continue to identify and pursue groups who hide their activities, so that in future elections Colorado voters will know who is funding each ballot measure.”

Toro said the group raised and spent money to launch its website, trained volunteers and collected signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

Safe Streets, a group that has disbanded since the election and could not be reached for a response, faces fines of up to $10,000.


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