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Man charged with felony over Denver short-term rental application has charge dropped

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 16:42:32-05

DENVER – One of the people charged this year with a felony count of attempting to influence a public servant saw his charge dropped this week but also saw his short-term rental license appeal denied.

Aaron Elinoff, 35, was charged in July with the lone count of attempting to influence a public servant, a class 4 felony, after the city and prosecutors said he lied about his primary residence in the city.

Prosecutors had alleged that Elinoff had signed a document swearing his primary residence was a home in the 600 block of Raleigh Street while he was actually primarily living at a home in the 1200 block of Tennyson Street.

But prosecutors dropped the charge on Thursday. The Denver District Attorney’s Office said it did not believe prosecutors could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“We’re thankful the DA put the time in to vet the City’s investigation, ultimately determining the case should be dismissed,” Elinoff’s attorney, David Beller, told Denver7. “We wish this would have happened before charging Mr. Elinoff, causing a media frenzy, and damaging the reputation of an innocent man.”

Elinoff had been one of four people charged this year with violating the city’s short-term rental rules, which require a short-term rental home to be a person’s primary residence.

Denver District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Carolyn Tyler said Thursday that the other three cases are proceeding in court.

And though the charge against Elinoff was dropped, Excise and Licenses Director Ashley Kilroy on Wednesday denied his appeal of his short-term renal application, saying he still failed to comply with the rules because the rental property is not his primary residence.

The city said Thursday there are 2,706 active short-term rental licenses – up 13% from 2018. It said the compliance rate was about 76% – meaning the percentage of licensed rentals compared to the number listed online.

But the city said the number of unique short-term rental properties was down 14% year-over-year, which an Excise and Licenses Department spokesperson said was potentially a result of the enforcement actions this year.

The spokesperson, Eric Escudero, said that compliance had increased by 32% since last December.