Dem Handed Down Felony Charge by Grand Jury - Could Face 3 Years in Prison and $100K Fine


Democratic Colorado State Senator and chair of the chamber’s judicial committee Pete Lee was indicted at the beginning of the month on a felony charge for allegedly lying for the purpose of voting about where he lives.

On Aug. 3, an El Paso County grand jury indicted Lee, but the state senator denied the charges, the Associated Press reported.

The grand jury indictment alleges that on March 3, 2020, Lee “voted giving false information regarding the elector’s place of present residence,” the Colorado Sun reported.

Providing false information about residence is a Class 5 felony.

However, there are no allegations that Lee submitted two ballots in one election, KDVR reported.

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Lee did not comment at the time of indictment but did ask to be removed from interim committees on judicial discipline and behavioral health in the criminal justice system.

He wanted “to avoid having my personal circumstances become a distraction,” according to a statement, the AP reported.

“I have been informed that Republican El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen has alleged that two years ago I violated the voter residence law for voting in a district where he claims I did not reside. There is no accusation of voting at more than one location,” Lee also said, according to the Colorado Sun.

The attorney representing Lee, David Kaplan, said in a statement that the charge “will be vigorously challenged.”

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“At a time when the public expresses concern about an increase in violent crime, along with a drug abuse epidemic, it is disappointing that this district attorney expends precious resources, deploys investigators, detectives and assigns prosecutors to search for a complaint against Senator Lee,” Kaplan said, the Colorado Sun reported.

Others have spoken in support of Lee and said he has had a reputable career.

Boulder Democrat and then-Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg said that Lee is a “dedicated public servant who has spent his career supporting his community and working to improve the lives of all Coloradans.”

“I trust he’ll have a fair opportunity to be heard and that the legal process will allow for an airing of all of the facts,” Fenberg said in a written statement.

“At his request, Senator Lee has been removed from his interim committee assignments until this matter is resolved,” the Senate Majority Leader added.

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Lee is also not seeking a second term in the upcoming November election. He was elected to represent his El Paso County district in 2018, according to the AP.

The felony charge that Lee is facing does carry a possible penalty of one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

After being indicted on Aug. 3, an initial hearing for Lee in El Paso County was set for Sept. 8, the AP reported.

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