Governor's Race: Maes Compares Himself to Serpico, While Hick Answers Questions About IRS Trouble

September 16 2010, 9:03 AM

Tom Tancredo, the American Constitution Party's nominee for governor, wanted to know more about Dan Maes' firing from the Liberal, Kansas, police department. So Maes, the Republican Party's nominee, is now talking about those dubious days, which has led even more party leaders to distance themselves from his campaign.

Maes tells The Associated Press that after he discovered evidence of a possible gambling operation in the home of his then-girlfriend's parents, he was ordered to a secret meeting at a motel with two agents from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. "Curious and scared," he knocked on the door and was ordered to "get comfortable" and remove his gun and tie.

"In my mind, all I can see is Serpico. Remember Serpico?" Maes asks, referring to the whistleblower New York policeman whose peers turned against him before he was immortalized in a 1973 film. "He walks up to a door, knocks, and a gun gets stuck in his face," Maes continues. "That did not happen to me, but that's what's going through my mind."

Maes claims he told the officers what they wanted to know and then was shocked when Police Chief Rick Kistner later told him he was being fired for associating with possible criminals. Maes says he has requested his personnel files from those days and has promised to release them.

Meanwhile, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has finally answered questions about a $52,486 check he wrote to the Internal Revenue Service in 2008. Apparently, it was to repay money he received from questionable land conservation easements that he wrote off on his taxes. A 7News investigation found the property appreciated more than 400 percent in two years, to which the Democratic nominee for governor responds, "The moment you break into smaller parcels you suddenly dramatically increase."

A reporter for Face the State was on the story in August but, unlike 7News, was prevented by Hickenlooper's staff from asking the mayor direct questions about the dealings.