If the investigation finds that Kellner failed to disclose his conflicts then Kellner should be disbarred
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
CONTACT: Sara Loflin, Executive Director at [email protected]
DENVER: This morning, Sara Loflin, Executive Director of ProgressNow Colorado, submitted a letter to the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel of the Colorado Supreme Court requesting an investigation into 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner for violating the rules of professional conduct, as well as for prosecutorial misconduct for failing to disclose conflicts of interest when he refused to prosecute his high-profile campaign donor for official misconduct. The letter is below.
“I submitted a letter this morning to the Colorado Supreme Court requesting an investigation of District Attorney John Kellner, for violating the rules of professional conduct as well as for prosecutorial misconduct for his failure to disclose his conflicts of interest when he refused to prosecute his high-profile campaign donor,” stated Sara Loflin, Executive Director, ProgressNow Colorado, Colorado’s largest grassroots advocacy organization.
The investigation request stems from Jefferson County investigators’ recommendation to prosecute Holly Kluth who appears to have ordered an employee of the Douglas County Sheriff’s office to alter her personnel files. Kluth herself accessed her file six days prior to her subordinate deleting records in her file.
What has not been published is that Kluth was a major donor to Kellner’s campaign as she gave twice to Kellner in 2020 which was after Kluth’s alleged misconduct took place in April, 2019 and before Kellner refused to prosecute in October 2021.
“Kellner should not have touched this case with a ten-foot-pole, instead he put politics over public safety and needs to be held accountable,” added Loflin. “If the investigation finds that Kellner failed to disclose his conflicts-of-interest then Kellner should be disbarred,” noted Loflin.
March 16, 2022
Ms. Jessica Yates
Attorney Regulation Counsel
Colorado Supreme Court
Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center
1300 Broadway, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80203
RE: John Evan Kellner’s Registration / Bar Number is 37937, his address is Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District of Colorado, 6450 S. Revere Parkway, Centennial, CO 80111 and his phone number is (720) 874-8500.
Dear Ms. Yates,
I am writing to request an investigation of District Attorney John Kellner, for violating the rules of professional conduct as well as for prosecutorial misconduct for his failure to disclose his conflicts of interest when he refused to prosecute his high-profile campaign donor with official misconduct.
Pursuant to subsection (d) of section 8.4 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney must not: “engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.”
As was recently reported by 9News, in 2021 Jefferson County investigators recommended charges of first- and second-degree official misconduct against Holly Kluth, a Republican candidate for Douglas County sheriff who was found through an internal investigation to have ordered an employee to alter her personnel files.
On October 25, 2021, Kellner refused to prosecute Kluth stating two reasons: First, the statute of limitations has run on any potential charges, and second, the evidence is insufficient. Both of these claims are false.
As for Kellner’s statute of limitations claim, Kellner misstates the timeline. The alleged conduct happened in April 2019 and wasn’t investigated until the summer of 2021. The timelines for a statute of limitations is not based on when the conduct occurred but instead on when it was discovered–which was just a few months before Kellner’s refusal to prosecute.
As for Kellner’s insufficient evidence claim, a formal investigation and report by Jefferson County sheriff investigators discovered Kluth had accessed her personnel file six days before a subordinate deleted the file. Investigators interviewed the sheriff’s office employee who deleted the file who claimed he had been ordered to delete the file by Kluth. And Jefferson County investigators recommended charges of first- and second-degree official misconduct against Kluth.
In addition — and what has not yet been publicly reported — is that between the time of the alleged conduct in 2019 and the release of Kellner’s letter refusing to prosecute in October 2021, Kellner received campaign donations from Kluth.
Kellner’s failure to disclose that he had received multiple donations from Kluth during the investigation period combined with his false claims for refusing to prosecute, raise serious questions about Kellner’s engagement in misconduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice and appears to be a violation of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.
On behalf of the citizens of Colorado who expect that our state’s prosecutors abide by the rules of professional conduct and we ask that you investigate Kellner for what clearly appears to be his prejudicial administration of justice and hold him accountable to the full degree of the law.
1536 Wynkoop Street #300
Denver, CO 80202