A gubernatorial candidate in Colorado is facing new media scrutiny this week after details from a police report from nearly 20 years ago came to light just weeks before Election Day.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Democrat nominee Jared Polis operated a business in Boulder in 1999 when a former employee claimed that he pushed her during an argument at the office a few days after she resigned.
Polis, who used the surname Schutz at the time, later told officers that Patricia Hughes threatened to “go after” him with unspecified damaging information if he did not ensure she exited the firm on favorable terms.
“After hanging up with the dispatcher, Ms. Hughes attempted to leave the office,” a police report from the time states. “Mr. Schutz physically blocked the door to prevent her from leaving.”
Authorities reported that the ex-employee continued attempting to move past him, at one point striking him with the bag she was carrying.
“Mr. Schutz then put both of his hands on her shoulders and pushed her back to prevent her from leaving,” according to the officer’s report after interviewing him.
That officer described seeing “two bruise marks” on the woman’s bicep “and a red welt on her thigh,” injuries she said “were from Mr. Schutz ‘grabbing’ her with his right hand.”
The police report noted that the injuries did not appear to be “conducive with Mr. Schutz’s statement that he grabbed her shoulders” nor “were they conducive with Ms. Hughes’s statement of Mr. Schutz standing in front of her and grabbing her.”
As for the mark on her thigh, the officer reported that it did appear consistent with “a key protruding from the upper right hand corner of the cabinet that could have produced the welt.”
Hughes spoke to a different officer, describing a move aggressive reaction by her former boss.
She claimed that she “tried to leave and Schutz did not let her leave.”
The woman told police that “he grabbed her and pushed her back into the office,” adding that “when Schutz pushed her she was pushed back into a file cabinet, hurting her leg.”
Authorities took possession of the bag Hughes was carrying at the time and reported that she “did knowingly and unlawfully take several files with original contracts and other sensitive documents.”
She later obtained a restraining order against him, which expired roughly three weeks later. According to 9News, The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that Hughes was “charged and eventually pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets.” Polis was never charged with the assault.
Since this incident, Jared Polis Schutz legally switched his middle and last names in a move the Denver Post reported at the time was intended to honor his mother by emphasizing her maiden name.
The businessman, who has gone on to serve five terms as a United States congressman, is running against current State Treasurer Walker Stapleton in his bid to be Colorado’s next governor.
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