Democratic Boulder Co. state representative charged, accused of misrepresenting her residence

Posted at 1:22 PM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 15:22:41-04

DENVER — Tracey Bernett, the Democratic state representative for House District 12 in Boulder County, was charged Friday with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts after she allegedly misrepresented her primary residence to run in the district she currently represents.

Bernett faces counts of attempt to influence a public servant, forgery, providing false information about a voting residence, perjury and procuring false registration, the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office said Friday. She was arrested and posted a $10,000 personal recognizance bond, according to the office.

Bernett currently represents District 12, which includes Louisville and Lafayette in eastern Boulder County up to Longmont.

But after redistricting, District 12 no longer includes Longmont, which Bernett listed as her primary residence when she was elected in 2020. Instead, the Longmont home was drawn into District 19 during redistricting.

But according to the district attorney’s office, Bernett filed sworn affidavits with the Secretary of State’s Office both last year and this year declaring that her primary residence was an apartment she was renting in Louisville since last November that is within the newly drawn District 12.

A resident filed a complaint with the district attorney’s office Sept. 19 alleging Bernett did not actually live there. According to the district attorney’s office, its investigators talked to witnesses and used search warrants and cell phone location information and found she did not live at the Louisville apartment that she claimed was her primary residence.

Prosecutors say that since the investigation found she did not live at the Louisville address, she had signed false sworn documents with the Secretary of State’s office. They also say that because she misrepresented her residence, she voted in June’s primary in a district she does not live in.

“The District Attorney’s Office has concluded a thorough investigation. I appreciate the efforts of the investigators assigned to this case, including using proper investigative tools such as the judicially authorized search warrants,” District Attorney Michael Dougherty said in a statement. “Based on the facts and the law, we will now move forward with a criminal prosecution. As in every case, our goal is to seek the right outcome — without fear or favor.”

This is the second time this year a Democratic member of the General Assembly faced an investigation into whether they misrepresented their primary residence for election and voting purposes.

Dougherty’s office said by the time it notified the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office of the allegations, Bernett’s name was already printed on the House District 12 ballots. Bernett won her 2020 election 74% - 26% over Republican Eric Davila. She faces Republican Anya Kirvan in the Nov. 8 election.

State Sen. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, saw a felony case against him dismissed after his attorney showed prosecutors unknowingly provided the grand jury in the case with false information about his residence that led to his indictment.

The Secretary of State’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about more information on the allegations or what could happen after the election.

Bernett is next due in court on Nov. 17.

This is a developing news story and will be updated.