Independent probe shows standard procedures violated in warrantless Longmont K-9 apartment searches

LONGMONT, Colo. – An independent investigation into the warrantless police K-9 searches done earlier this year at a Longmont subsidized housing unit found the two K-9 handlers and their superior violated standard procedures in getting consent to enter eight apartments.

The independent investigation was done by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and was released Wednesday as part of a settlement between the city of Longmont and the ACLU of Colorado, which was announced mid-November.

Denver7 broke the story about allegations that Longmont officers and their K-9s had gone along with Longmont Housing Authority workers during a May inspection at The Suites, and entered people’s apartments without a warrant. Continue reading

Judge allows testing to resume immediately on issue-plagued RTD G-Line

DENVER – The Regional Transportation District’s Gold Line will be able to start some limited testing on the G-Line immediately after a judge on Tuesday granted RTD’s motion to resume tests.

Testing has been on hold since July after the last round of testing as RTD worked to fix technology issues that have plagued the system for the line’s crossing arms along both the G-Line and A-Line.

An administrative judge for the Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday though that RTD can immediately start testing again, though only along the lines of the plan it filed in March. Continue reading

Man, 64, dies while in ICE custody in Colorado

DENVER – A 64-year-old man in custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement died Saturday at an Aurora hospital, the agency said Monday.

Kamyar Samimi, 64, originally of Iran, was arrested by ICE agents in Denver on Nov. 17—more than 12 years after he was convicted of cocaine possession in Arapahoe County. Continue reading

Oil and gas company sues Erie over odor ordinance violation

ERIE, Colo. – Crestone Peak Resources, the oil and gas company that owns more than 100 wells in Erie, is suing the town over its ordinance allowing complaints over fracking odors.

The company filed the lawsuit in Weld County on Thursday after it was given notice of a violation of the code earlier this month, the company said. Continue reading

Uber’s parent company faces $8.9M fine in Colo. over questionable, or incomplete, background checks

DENVER – Uber’s parent company is facing an $8.9 million fine after the Colorado Public Utilities Commission found 57 Uber drivers in the state were driving when they weren’t supposed to be, and the state is questioning whether background checks on those drivers were performed at all.

The parent company, Rasier, LLC, was issued notice of the civil penalty Monday — $2,500 a day for each day one of the 57 disqualified drivers worked, resulting in the penalty of close to $9 million. Uber uses an accredited background check company to screen potential drivers. Continue reading

Hearing officer denies appeal by Denver 4/20 rally organizer, opening door for new permit holders

DENVER – If you want to be the organizer for Denver’s famed 4/20 rally, now is your chance.

Denver’s hearing officer on Friday denied an appeal made by the previous organizer to have his three-year suspension from getting a permit and fines overturned. Continue reading

Erie town trustees tell angry residents they were unaware of venting near school, launch probe

ERIE, Colo. – At a meeting filled with angry parents, Erie town trustees said Tuesday night they were also unaware that an oil and gas site had been venting fumes into a nearby elementary school until they saw it on the news.

“I was just as alarmed as all the citizens of Erie to hear about this over the weekend—two months after the fact,” said Erie Mayor Tina Harris at Tuesday’s meeting, which comes on the heels of two reports by Denver7 that exposed the venting near Aspen Ridge Preparatory School. Continue reading

3 female Lake County Sheriff’s Office employees allege undersheriff sexually harassed them

LAKE COUNTY, Colo. – Three female employees of the sheriff’s office in this sparsely-populated central Colorado county say they have been repeatedly sexually harassed by the undersheriff, and that the harassment has continued despite an investigation and pleas for it to stop.

The women, who work as 911 dispatchers for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, say Undersheriff Fernando Mendoza has continually made lewd comments to them and sent them inappropriate text messages—sometimes, even, while they are on duty. Continue reading

Denver agrees to $4.6 million settlement with family of mentally-ill inmate who died in jail custody

DENVER – The family of Michael Marshall, a Denver jail inmate who died while in custody in 2015, will get $4.65 million from the city of Denver if the city council approves the settlement on November 13.

Also part of the settlement, which was announced Wednesday morning, are a series of policy and training procedure changes the sheriff’s department will have to implement to increase mental health services and training over the next several years. Continue reading

Denver judge upholds ruling that directive banning drug users from parks is unconstitutional

DENVER – A Denver District Court judge on Wednesday upheld a county court ruling that found a directive issued last September, which allowed officers to cite and temporarily ban drug users caught using in city parks or on the Cherry Creek trail, was unconstitutional.

But the city says a new directive is in the works. Continue reading