Las Animas County Commissioner removed from office

Posted at 12:40 AM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2018-08-09 02:41:23-04

News 5 Investigates has confirmed a Las Animas County commissioner misrepresented his home address during the Nov. 2016 election.

A judge just ordered Anthony Abeyta be removed from his District 1 seat according to court documents obtained by News 5 Investigates.

“The vacancy committee will fill the position,” Secretary of State spokeswoman Lynn Bartels said.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Abeyta won a second-term in District 1. Shortly after the results were announced, allegations surfaced that Abeyta won a position he was not entitled to occupy.

A resident named Richard Rasmussen filed a lawsuit in December 2016 alleging Abeyta “was not a resident of District 1 at the time of his candidacy, at the time of the election or at the present time”.

Abeyta said he did live in District 1 at a home in Weston, Colorado, but a judge later determined Abeyta lived 26 miles away in Trinidad.

Court documents also pointed to the fact that all of Abeyta’s motor vehicle registrations, except for one, are registered to Abeyta’s Trinidad address.

A judge ultimately ruled Abeyta was “not an eligible candidate for District 1” and called the election “void”.

Abeyta has been relieved of his duties as of June 16 and his seat remains vacant.

An official replacement has not yet been named.