Vail Daily letter: Disclose settlements | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Disclose settlements

Michael Cacioppo is running for public office. He cites his "government watchdog" history of filing lawsuits as a major qualification.

In 2002, Cacioppo filed a lawsuit against the Eagle County School District. His suit claimed that the school district had not complied with TABOR Constitutional Amendment restrictions, thereby making their actions unconstitutional. He lost in District Court.

Cacioppo declared, "This ruling, if I allow it to stand without appeal, would render the 1992 TABOR Constitutional Amendment meaningless." One month after uttering this declaration, he imposed a deadline on the school district to fork over money for his legal fees and other costs. If the school district did not meet his demands, he would "carry my appeals to the Appellate Court and to the Supreme Court, if necessary." He noted that such a payoff " … should not be difficult to accept, as this will allow you (the school district) to save ongoing legal fees and costs." The school district chose not to comply with his demands.

The Colorado Supreme Court ultimately ruled for the school district. Cacioppo claimed that "they now have a new way of changing our Constitution without a vote of the people of the state." He added, " … It cost them $117,000 in legal fees to cheat." He did not mention his offer, from months before, to walk away from this constitutional crisis for the right amount of money.

Cacioppo's efforts for personal monetary gain were not an impulsive act. They were deliberate and protracted. A review of similar actions, on his part, under his guise of "government watchdog," is warranted. He should identify and acknowledge any settlements from any governing body that generated personal gain for him, including those bound by restrictive non-disclosure agreements.

Cacioppo now expects us to entrust him with our tax dollars.

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More details on this matter can be found in Cacioppo's Vail Daily letter of May 17, 2003, in Vail Daily articles of April 15, May 20, May 22, 2003, and in an article from June 14, 2004.

Joe Peplinski