MONUMENT — The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission is letting the investigation into Mayor Mitch LaKind of Monument continue after dismissing a motion to drop the case.
The investigation is related to an ethics complaint filed against the mayor for allegedly misusing taxpayer dollars to influence the 2022 election.
According to the complaint, in 2022, the Monument Town Council chose to hire Grant Van Der Jagt, an attorney from Castle Rock, to investigate whether electioneering and misappropriation of funds occurred in the run-up to the November 2022 election.
Van Der Jagt's investigation found that the town paid a local print company over $2,500 to make door hangers and yard signs in favor of ballot question 2A.
The ballot question asked voters whether the town should adopt a new charter with a home-rule form of government. Voters approved the measure 68% to 32%.
Van Der Jagt's investigation reportedly found "an overwhelming amount of evidence and statements support that there was a deliberate attempt to purchase the materials in question with town funds, and then to hide that purchase from the public."
During the investigation, Mayor LaKind hired his own attorney from the Sherman & Howard Law Firm to "provide advice on matters related to the Van Der Jagt investigation."
Once this investigator released his report, the town council passed a resolution to disavow it. An invoice from Sherman & Howard shows the law firm charged the mayor over $20,000 for this service.
On April 3, the town council voted to use the town's money to pay off these fees since the firm "provide[ed] for the interest of the Town of Monument."
Former city council members Darcy Schoening, Kelly Elliott, and Amy Stephens then filed the ethics complaint through the state's Independent Ethics Commission.
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