DA: No further charges against King
A special prosecutor in the case against state Sen. Steve King says additional charges won’t be filed following an investigation into allegations taxpayers may have been double-billed for work between Grand Junction and Denver.
“At this time, I don’t anticipate further charges, but should more information come to our attention, we’ll certainly take a look at it,” Assistant 18th Judicial District Attorney Mark Hurlbert told The Daily Sentinel on Thursday.
Hurlbert confirmed the final unresolved piece of the King investigation centered on days when King charged Colorado Mesa University for work in Grand Junction, while working in the capacity of acting coordinator of safety and training, and potential conflicts with days billed for state business on the Front Range.
Documents obtained by The Daily Sentinel through the Colorado Open Records Act show King made requests for mileage and hotel reimbursements from the state on the same days he was working at CMU. The Daily Sentinel compared King’s CMU timecards going back two years with his reimbursement reports with the Colorado General Assembly and a political action committee campaign account he controlled.
The newspaper was denied access to King’s timecards from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office during this period, now part of an active criminal case.
In most cases when King claimed mileage, hotel and meal reimbursements as part of his duties with the Legislature, his CMU timecards show he was working shifts at the Grand Junction campus as long as 10 hours. A job description says he was required to be on the university campus during working hours.
The records also show that King worked as many as 194 hours a month at the university while working as a state senator, holding a part-time job at the Sheriff’s Office and operating his own business, American National Protective Services.
Hurlbert sat in on Monday’s advisement hearing in Mesa County as King made his first appearance since being charged with felony counts of embezzlement of public property, forgery and theft. He also faces misdemeanor counts of forgery and official misconduct.
None of the charges carry mandatory prison time upon conviction.
A criminal complaint filed by Hurlbert’s office accused King of defrauding the Sheriff’s Office and CMU of more than $2,000 but less than $5,000, between July 1, 2013, and Dec. 19, 2013. The forgery counts apply specifically to timecards that King submitted to the Sheriff’s Office.
A former sheriff’s investigator, King, 56, worked in a variety of part-time jobs at the Sheriff’s Office after his election in 2006 to the Colorado House. The on-again, off-again work continued after his election to the state Senate in 2010.
King was fired June 6 by former sheriff Stan Hilkey after an internal affairs investigation found KIng had falsified timecards. King stormed out of a meeting when confronted about it by then undersheriff Rebecca Spiess — one of the five code of conduct violations raised in the internal affairs report.
The Mesa County Republican nominee for sheriff withdrew from the race on July 16.
His case is expected back in court Oct. 23.