Police record no big deal, Cox says
A brush with the law for a Republican candidate for the Colorado House earlier this month wasn’t his first.
David Cox, 28, had numerous arrests and charges filed against him in his early 20s, according to court and Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.
For those offenses, Cox spent time in jail, was required to wear an ankle bracelet to track his movements and had his driver’s license revoked at least once.
The GOP candidate for House District 54, however, said he doesn’t think his troubles with the law are a big deal that will make any difference with voters.
“I do have a history of getting ticketed, especially speeding tickets,” Cox said. “I drink, yes, and that’s exactly what my record indicated that I do, drink. I’ve had 13 minor-in-possession-of-alcohols. It’s not unusual to get pulled over. Everybody gets pulled over now and again.”
But Cox had been pulled over or cited by police more than just occasionally in the years before and just after he was legally able to drink.
Earlier this month, Cox was embroiled in a controversy when a Grand Junction police officer pulled him over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Officer Tom Rayside wrote in his summons that he detected the odor of alcohol on Cox’s breath and that Cox had bloodshot eyes, Cox’s vehicle hit the curb when he stopped it and Cox had trouble finding his proof of insurance and auto registration.
Cox was not charged with driving under the influence.
Instead, Rayside noticed Cox’s handgun in his glove box, confiscated it and cited him on suspicion of possession of a handgun while under the influence of alcohol, a charge that later was dropped.
Cox admitted to having a few beers earlier that evening, and he told The Daily Sentinel he was not too drunk to drive at the time of the traffic stop.
The Orchard Mesa resident is running to replace Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, who is leaving the post to run for the Colorado Senate. Cox will face off against local Republicans Ray Scott and Robert Hislop at the House District 54 assembly on May 8.
Cox admitted his troubles with the law date to when he was a juvenile, but particularly between ages 18 and 21.
In addition to his juvenile record, to which Cox later said he wasn’t sure exactly how many times he had run-ins with police, he has received misdemeanor citations for obstructing law enforcement and underage possession of alcohol. He also had one felony charge levied against him. Cox said that occurred in 2003 when he was 22 and was pulled over by the Arvada police after running a red light.
“I got scared, and I made a mistake, a fairly major mistake,” he said. “I gave them my brother’s name and my brother’s information in order to avoid them knowing I was driving under suspension. I said I didn’t have my license on me. They ticket me for running the red light, and I think they also ticketed me for no proof of insurance.”
Cox said he turned himself in a day or three later, which is when he was arrested and charged with criminal impersonation, a Class 6 felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $100,000 fine.
He lied to police, Cox said, because he wasn’t supposed to be driving because his license had been revoked.
“They gave me a plea agreement and dropped the felony charge and ... took away my driver’s license for, I think, two years, which I did honor,” Cox said. “And they also put me on an ankle monitor for 30 days. I think I actually had to go to jail for five days because of my violation under my terms on that. I’m certain I went to jail. I think I was sentenced to seven days, and I ended up doing five or something like that.”
Cox said his license was revoked just before he turned 21.
“I lost my license as a result because in the state of Colorado you automatically lose your license if you’re convicted of minor possession of alcohol for a second time,” he said. “Of course, this was way more than the second time for possession of alcohol.”
A similar court and CBI check of Cox’s political opponents for prior arrests or convictions turned up nothing.
Hislop, a 66-year-old former U.S. Secret Service agent, and Scott, who turned 53 on Friday, said they may have had the occasional traffic infraction or been in court for civil matters over the years, but nothing to the level of Cox.
Both declined to comment directly on his legal woes, but did say it was something voters need to know about.
“If you’re a candidate, obviously things that you do in your past will come to light, and I would imagine that people want to vote for people that are trustworthy,” Hislop said.
“The voters should know because it comes down to the integrity of the seat,” Scott added. “This is not about any one person. This isn’t our seat, this is the people’s seat, and the people have a right to know.”