Sheriff: Proposition 102 protesters were paid labor

A protest Thursday for a ballot measure that would limit the number of people released without paid bail consisted largely of paid labor, Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey claims.

A group of roughly 30 people gathered Thursday morning in front of the Mesa County Justice Center, demonstrating in support of Proposition 102. When the group made its way in front of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, Hilkey said a staff member recognized one of the demonstrators as a client of Mesa County’s work release program. The demonstrator, a man, is also a registered sex offender, Hilkey said.

The work-release program commonly contracts with temporary employment agencies, he said.

Hilkey said his staff learned “15 to 20” protestors had been hired through Labor Ready, 105 West Main Street, which is across the street from the Justice Center. Hilkey said he was told a man, who gave his name as “Scott Land” of Denver, paid for the protestors and four hours of work at minimum wage.

Attempts to reach Labor Ready management for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Hilkey has spoken against Proposition 102, which would allow only nonviolent offenders, who are arrested on a first offense, to be eligible for release without bail under the supervision of pretrial services.

Proposition 102 organizer Matthew Duran denied that demonstrators were paid in an interview with The Associated Press. He added that even if they were paid, it wouldn’t have been illegal.


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