How the Denver Police Department Became Involved in Party Politics

December 1 2009, 11:42 AM
Villafuerte, StephanieDenver Police Chief Gerry Whitman might just be part of a conspiracy to cover up information that could be embarrassing to Governor Bill Ritter and his pick for Colorado's next U.S. attorney, Stephanie Villafuerte. That's what you have to consider if you side with Colorado Republicans, who want to know whether Villafuerte (left), a former aide to Ritter, accessed a restricted criminal database in 2006 to check on Carlos Estrada-Medina, an undocumented immigrant whose history was used in a campaign ad attacking Ritter, according to Fox 31. The Democratic governor's camp says Villafuerte was investigating a possible threat against Ritter. So Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams has asked Whitman for any police reports linked to any threats against Ritter (via The Denver Post). It's unclear whether any reports exist, "but the public deserves a clear answer from you and your department," Wadhams writes. The Post has not reached Whitman for a response, but Villafuerte, Ritter, and First Assistant District Attorney Chuck Lepley have all said their conversations during the campaign were likely about security and/or Ritter's safety---not about running a check on Estrada-Medina. One thing seems clear: The GOP plans to pack a political punch in 2010. The Wall Street Journal headlines a recent analysis, "Colorado GOP Writes Its Own Invitation to the Tea Party"---or at least tries to.