Watchdog group: Candidate for attorney general breaking state law

A Denver-based government watchdog group has filed a complaint against the Democratic candidate for attorney general.

The nonprofit Colorado Government Accountability Project filed a campaign-finance complaint late last week against Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, saying he failed to end his campaign committee for the district attorney’s office after he entered the race challenging Republican Attorney General John Suthers, who is seeking re-election.

Garnett has about $60 still in his district attorney committee’s account, but state law requires him to close it immediately after opening a new one for a different office, said Stephanie Cegielski, executive director of the group.

Though Cegielski, a former elections official with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, said the violation may seem minor, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

“It is concerning to see the man that wants to be the state’s head attorney violating the law,” she said. “Adherence to the laws of the state should be taken seriously by every candidate, especially those looking to enforce the laws and protect the citizens of the state.”

The secretary of state’s website lists the district attorney committee as being terminated, but it really isn’t, Cegielski said.

Garnett spokesman Charlie Brennan said the district attorney account was left open to handle any outstanding expenses.

“As of this time, no contributions have been accepted for the DA committee ... and an affidavit was never filed signaling a current candidacy for Boulder DA,” Brennan said. “Nobody looking at the Secretary of State’s website would have been left with the impression that Stan Garnett in 2010 is a candidate for district attorney.”


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