Democratic State Sen. Pete Lee indicted on felony charge

Colorado Springs senator accused of providing false info. about voting residence
sen pete lee
Posted at 4:30 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 22:25:12-04

DENVER — Colorado Springs Democratic State Sen. Pete Lee has been indicted on a felony charge of providing false information about his residence, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Lee is charged with a class 5 felony and accused of providing false information as to his residence, according to prosecutors. The indictment came down on Aug. 3, according to the district attorney’s office, and he was issued a summons on Monday, according to court records.

The advisement hearing and first court appearance for Lee, whose first name is actually Sanford, has been set for Sept. 8 in El Paso County.

Court records show the offense date was March 3, 2020. That summer, the Colorado Springs Independent reported Lee was accused by others of living outside his district.

Lee’s 2018 candidate filing shows Lee listed his address at a home in the 200 block of N. Sheridan Ave. in Colorado Springs. His filings while he was in the House listed his address in the 1600 block of West Cheyenne Road in Colorado Springs.

Senate President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said Lee had been removed from his interim committee assignments until the matter is resolved – which Fenberg said Lee had requested.

“Senator Pete Lee is a dedicated public servant who has spent his career supporting his community and working to improve the lives of all Coloradans,” Fenberg said in a written statement. “I trust he’ll have a fair opportunity to be heard and that the legal process will allow for an airing of all the facts.”

Lee issued the following statement Tuesday evening:

"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. I have just recently received the actual charge and have yet to obtain all pertinent information, so I cannot comment on the allegation. I have engaged counsel to evaluate the one charge and related issues.

While the DA’s charge has no connection to my official duties as an elected official, I place great value in the trust that Colorado voters give to their elected officials and have spent my career working to uphold those ideals. Therefore, to avoid having my personal circumstances become a distraction, I have asked the Senate Majority Leader to replace me on the Interim Committees on Judicial Discipline and Behavioral Health in the Criminal Justice System."

Lee was elected to the state Senate in 2018 after serving in the state House. A 2019 recall effort against him failed. He is not running for re-election in November and a new senator for the district will take the seat in January.

This is a developing news story that will be updated.