Wednesday, May 18, 2022
CONTACT: Sara Loflin, Executive Director at [email protected]

DENVER: Awaiting word from the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission on their complaint seeking an investigation into professional misconduct by District Attorney John Kellner after Kellner refused to prosecute a high-profile campaign donor for her own official misconduct, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest multi-issue progressive advocacy organization, again called for accountability for Kellner’s disqualifying breach of the public trust.

“District Attorney John Kellner has violated the public trust and disqualified himself from serving as the state’s highest prosecutor,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Sara Loflin. “We know that Kellner was wrong to hide behind the statute of limitations in refusing to prosecute his political ally and near-maximum campaign donor. And Kellner’s decision not to prosecute Holly Kluth ran counter to the recommendation of outside investigators who believed criminal charges were appropriate and necessary.”

“By failing to disclose Kluth’s political and financial support before making the decision not to prosecute, Kellner turned his office into a ‘pay-to-play’ den of corruption,” said Loflin. “No matter what the IEC decides, Colorado voters can’t trust John Kellner.”

“As a prosecutor, John Kellner has an obligation to adhere to the highest ethical standards even when it concerns major donors to his own political campaigns,” said Loflin. “By refusing to follow the recommendations of Jefferson County investigators and file misconduct charges against Holly Kluth, Kellner violated the public trust to protect a political ally and donor.”

The request for the Independent Ethics Commission to investigate Kellner focuses on the decision by Kellner to not file official misconduct charges against Holly Kluth, who is now a candidate for Douglas County Sheriff. Kellner falsely claimed that the statute of limitations had expired to prosecute Kluth, and Kellner’s conclusion that the evidence against Kluth was “insufficient” is contrary to the conclusion of Jefferson County investigators. Kluth was a major donor to Kellner’s 2020 campaign for election to serve as the 18th Judicial District Attorney, contributing just short of the limit for donations in that race.

ProgressNow Colorado members from across the state have responded calling for an investigation by the Independent Ethics Commission. 

Thad Alstrup of Denver says, “This prosecutor needs to be held accountable for his shady decisions. I am a 4th Generation Coloradan and I don’t stand for corruption in government, especially in my state government.” 

Patrick Williams of Centennial says, “John Kellner’s refusal to investigate a political ally and donor must be promptly investigated.”

Lois Vanderkooi of Broomfield: “At this point, the corruption of some politicians is hard to deny. We need to shed light on realities and pursue ethics investigations to address a cancer of power grabs and deceit.”

The full complaint to the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission is available here.

“District Attorney Kellner is running for attorney general on a so-called ‘law and order’ platform, asking the voters of Colorado for our trust in his integrity,” said Loflin. “How can Coloradans expect John Kellner to when cannot be trusted to keep his personal and political interests separate from the duties of his office? Colorado voters can’t give more power to a corrupt prosecutor who turns a blind eye to crimes committed by his campaign donors.”