Minturn mayor gets probation
MINTURN – Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty faces punishment after a judge accepted probation Thursday to discipline the mayor for defending friend Jim Hoza in court last August, Minturn court records show.Flaherty received a deferred judgment – essentially probation – for pleading guilty Aug. 3 to a conflict-of-interest charge, the records show. From now until Dec. 31, Flaherty must pay a $999 fine, take an ethics course for elected officials and not violate Minturn or Colorado ethics laws, the records show.
If the probation period is successfully completed, the case will be dismissed. Otherwise, Flaherty faces the original sentence, which stipulates that he must pay court costs and forfeit his position as mayor.The case originated from an Aug. 11 Minturn court hearing, when Flaherty defended Hoza’s Main Street property, which the town was trying to clean up and has since been remedied. Minturn law states government officials may not appear on behalf of any private person, business or entity other than himself, his spouse or minor children.Other conflicts permeated the case. Judge Terry Quinn, who accepted the deferred judgment, oversaw Hoza’s case as well. He recused himself from presiding over Flaherty’s case, but to resolve the matter, the town and Flaherty agreed to let Quinn participate, the records show.
Because Town Attorney Allen Christensen also witnessed the Hoza matter, he would have needed to recuse himself, court records show. Flaherty waived any conflict of interest Christensen might have had to save the town from the cost of hiring an alternative attorney, the records show.
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado
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