President Bush has granted a pardon to a former drug dealer and current Denver lawyer, Wendy St. Charles.

A Denver lawyer was pardoned Tuesday by President Bush for drug-related crimes she committed more than two decades ago. Wendy St. Charles, now 49, was among 11 people who received presidential pardons. In 1984, she was sentenced to four years in prison in Illinois for conspiracy to conduct a narcotics enterprise and distribution of cocaine, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. She was also put on four years of special parole and four years of probation, which were to run consecutively with her sentence.

Why Ms. Charles? My surmise is her employer lobbied hard for her.

Currently, she is a licensed attorney who works for MDC Holdings, Inc., the largest Denver-based home-building firm and one of the top 10 home builders in the U.S. Larry Mizel, chair of the MDC Holdings Inc., and his wife, Carol, are major supporters of the Republican Party and its candidates, donating thousands of dollars to their campaigns. Michael Touff, MDC’s senior vice president and general counsel, declined to comment.

It’s called clout. [cross posted at TalkLeft.]