District Attorney’s pattern of self-promotion unethical

Monday, August 31, 2015
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at 303-870-0448

Denver: As multiple news reports indicated this past weekend that Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler is considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2016, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, called on Brauchler to stop misusing the Aurora theater shooting trial to promote himself politically.

“It was unethical for George Brauchler to be talking to the media about a run for higher office before the sentencing was even finalized,” stated Amy Runyon-Harms, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado. “The pain and expense of this trial, and the outcome after so many months of controversy, makes it too soon for Brauchler to pivot to politics. We are calling on Brauchler to immediately stop misusing the Aurora trial for political purposes.”

The formal sentencing of James Holmes took place on Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Prior to then, Brauchler was hosting interviews with the media about a possible run for higher office. (“Aurora theater shooting prosecutor George Brauchler ready to mull Senate run,” Colorado Independent, August 25, 2015.) Since then Brauchler has appeared on numerous television stations and other outlets discussing his possible candidacy.

As the Denver Post has reported, the disciplinary committee of the Colorado Supreme Court has been asked to investigate whether Brauchler’s use of social media during the trial, which led the dismissal of three jurors, violated the attorney’s rules of professional conduct. (“Tweet puts heat on DA,” Denver Post, July 17, 2015) If Brauchler is found to have been violating the rules, the Denver Post reported that the sanctions could include suspension or disbarment of his license to practice law. ProgressNow Colorado launched an online petition today calling for citizens to join their call for Brauchler to stop misusing the Aurora theater shooting trial for political self-promotion.

“Brauchler has an established pattern of promoting himself during this trial, and that is why he is being investigated by the attorney disciplinary committee,” noted Runyon-Harms. “Brauchler should not have used this trial to promote his political ambitions before the sentence was even handed down. Brauchler’s self-promotion is unethical and politics at its worst.”