(Slay News) – A prominent Democrat state senator has been indicted on a felony voting charge in Colorado, according to reports.
A grand jury in El Paso County, CO, has indicted Democrat State Sen. Pete Lee, chair of the judicial committee, on one count of voting outside the district where he resides.
The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office released a statement that said:
“On August 3, 2022, the Grand Jury for the Fourth Judicial District returned an indictment on Sanford Edmund Lee, also known as Pete Lee, an elected Colorado State Senator, charging him with one count of providing false information as to his residence, a class 5 felony pursuant to C.R.S. §1-13-709.5.
“Mr. Lee will have his first court appearance on September 8, 2022, at 10:00 AM.”
“Like all persons charged with a crime, Sanford Edmund Lee is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” the statement adds.
Lee denies the charges, however, and issued a statement saying:
“Today the Republican El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen charged Senator Pete Lee with what he claims is voting on one occasion, over 2 years ago, in a district where he did not reside.
“There are no allegations that Senator Lee submitted two ballots in a single election.
“Senator Lee has an impeccable record as a state legislator representing the citizens of District 11 and is proud to have voted on ballots appropriately obtained in order to exercise the sacred duty and honor of casting his ballot on issues of importance.
“Senator Lee places great value in the trust that Colorado voters give to their elected officials.
“He has worked tirelessly to propose and pass criminal justice policies to benefit the citizens of his district and the State, often despite vocal opposition by those who oppose any reform.
“At a time when the public expresses concern about an increase in violent crime, along with a drug abuse epidemic, it is disappointing that this District Attorney expends precious resources, deploys investigators, detectives, and assigns prosecutors to search for a complaint against Senator Lee.
“The charge will be vigorously challenged,” he said.
Democrats Senate President Steve Fenberg said:
“Senator Pete Lee is a dedicated public servant who has spent his career supporting his community and working to improve the lives of all Coloradans.
“I trust he’ll have a fair opportunity to be heard and that the legal process will allow for an airing of all of the facts.
“At his request, Senator Lee has been removed from his interim committee assignments until this matter is resolved.”
A grand jury in El Paso County has returned an indictment against Democratic Colorado state Sen. Pete Lee, accusing him of lying about his residence.https://t.co/60wR1NF56g
— FOX31 Denver KDVR (@KDVR) August 9, 2022
According to The AP:
The felony charge carries a possible penalty of one to three years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000.
An initial hearing in El Paso County court was set for Sept. 8.
Lee is not seeking a second term in November’s election after being elected to represent his El Paso County district in 2018.
He previously served in the House.