Judge dismisses voting address case against state Sen. Pete Lee

sen pete lee
Posted at 1:21 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 15:21:38-04

DENVER — An El Paso County judge on Friday dismissed a felony case against state Sen. Pete Lee in which he was accused of providing false information about his voting residence after his attorney showed prosecutors unknowingly provided the grand jury in the case with false information.

El Paso County District Court Judge Eric Bentley agreed to dismiss the case after Lee’s attorney, David Kaplan, filed a motion to dismiss the case in September, arguing that a person at the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel told prosecutors Lee had changed his home address in an attorney registration system, when he had actually not submitted a new address.

Kaplan argued that Lee submitted his address as 216 North Sheridan Avenue, which is in his Senate district, and not the 1600 block of West Cheyenne Road address, as the OARC had claimed. Prosecutors had used that incorrect information in presentations to the grand jury.

“These misstatements and erroneous facts presented to the Grand Jury are not peripheral to the charges sought and the indictment rendered, they are a material misrepresentation of the facts used to obtain an indictment,” Kaplan wrote in his motion. “…It irreversibly taints [the grand jury’s] deliberations and creates a fatal flaw in the indictment.”

Kaplan said last month he had received discovery items that included a statement from a clerk in the attorney registration office admitting to the error regarding the address.

Judge Bentley did not find prosecutors had committed wrongdoing. Prosecutors from the 4th Judicial District had previously declined to drop the case on their own.

Lee had removed himself from his interim committee assignments while the charges were pending. He is not running for re-election in November.

Kaplan did not immediately return an email requesting comment Friday.