The Colorado governor’s race just went into overdrive. Congressman Bob Beauprez who is running on the Republican side has been running an attack ad on Democrat and former District Attorney Bill Ritter for plea deals made while in office that allowed some defendants to avoid deportation. According to Ritter,

Beauprez is running an ad that accuses Ritter of plea bargaining to probation illegal immigrant and accused heroin dealer Carlos Estrada Medina. Medina, the ad says, was later arrested for the sexual abuse of a child. However, Medina’s name does not show up on court files in either Denver or California — where Beauprez’s campaign says he was charged. Beauprez’s campaign contends that Medina used aliases in both cases.

Ritter said Beauprez used non-public law enforcement identification numbers to make the link between the aliases and Medina. He has asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to investigate the charge.

Beauprez responds he used an informant to get the information and did no wrong.

“We had an informant who followed the rules. But what (Ritter) hasn’t done is say that he disputes that this is the same guy. This is the same guy … I don’t understand all the numbers but as I understand it, the numbers line up. It is a match. This is the same guy you put out on the streets again who later sexually assaulted a child,” Beauprez said.

….After the debate, Beauprez’s campaign manager, John Marshall, said he would not publicly provide information because it would compromise a confidential source.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it will investigate the incident.

The probe will start with an audit of who accessed the system and what they requested. “Potential misuse of the information database is taken very seriously and we pursue all requests to investigate,” Clem said.

More here, from the Rocky Mountain News.

CBI guards the security of the highly restricted FBI database also used by state and local police agencies. Clem said police officers have lost their jobs for abusing database access and a law enforcement agency that fails to safeguard NCIC could be barred from using it.

“These kinds of allegations are looked at very seriously, because the integrity of that (NCIC) system is very important to CBI,” Clem said referring to Ritter’s allegation.

Here are the statutes, according to the Rocky:

Federal statutes:

  • It’s a crime to intentionally access a federal computer without authorization or to exceed authorized access. Penalty: First offenses are punishable by one year in prison and fines.
  • Knowingly conveying or receiving federal records. Maximum penalty: 10 years in prison and fines.
  • Conspiracy to defraud the United States. Maximum Penalty: Five years in prison.
  • State statutes:

  • Public officials can be charged with official misconduct for using their authority to maliciously harm someone or violate state law. Penalty: 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Embezzlement of government property by public servant. Penalty: Three years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
  • Colorado blogs are on the story as well, see Square State and JB Holston.

    This could get very big, stay tuned.