DATE:    December 15, 2007

TO:         The Honorable Bill Ritter, Colorado Governor

CC:        John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General
                Mike Coffman, Colorado Secretary of State
                Cary Kennedy, Colorado State Treasurer
                Peter Groff, Colorado Senate President
                Andrew McElhany, Colorado Senate Minority Leader
                Andrew Romanoff, Colorado Speaker of the House
                Mike May, Colorado House Minority Leader
                Mary Mullarky, Chief Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

FROM: George Lanes

RE:          Supplement to

     Governor Ritter, this perhaps is the most painfully difficult communication I've had to prepare in my lengthy effort to bring an honorable close to the so-called "law and order black hole" of the Dick Lamm/Roy Romer/J. D. MacFarlane/Dale Tooley cabal. You and I have our work cut out for us. Time is running out. I have not informed either the press or the Colorado mainstream of my website. Please take action to get into a constructive posture on this scandal cleanup before someone alerts the press. I had to display this scandal on the internet to let the legislators know that I have no more patience with them. Legislators have dug themselves into a hole by refusing to deal with this scandal and now they deserve the consequences, whatever they may be.

     Before reading any further in this memo, refresh your memory by reviewing my 9/11/07 memo to the legislature and the information on my website, as all my continuing efforts on this problem are within the framework and context spelled out on my website. I will be as candid with you here as I was when I first briefed you in 2004 on the seriousness of the corruption, and of my intent to bring it to an honorable conclusion. If I were any less candid in this memo, it would be a disservice to you and to all of our honest taxpayers.

     Governor, it seems likely that some legislators have dealt as shamefully with you, as they and their predecessors have done with me, when they persuaded you to fast track organized labor's political campaign contribution funding suction tube into the state payroll system to slurp-up employee union dues so soon after I had given the legislature explicit notice that I would soon be shutting down your revenue department's capacity to broker illegal political campaign contribution funding with the spoils of tax racketeering. Legislative leaders may have reasoned that their reputation was too tarnished and discredited to fast track this new source of political campaign funding so soon after they reviewed my website in mid September, so they decided to ply on your clean image to take this reckless step in their behalf. If so, shame on them. Governor, your experience as a criminal prosecutor should have put you on guard, against accepting such reckless advice and exposing yourself, when you knew how compromised they were.

     No matter how that union decision was made, honest and responsible taxpayers will likely demand an explanation on why this fast track decision came so quickly after legislators learned I was on the internet. It is not in your favor that nearly all of organized labor's political campaign contributions go to politicians of your political persuasion. Nor is it in your favor, that it was officials within your political party, who conspired to cover-up the tax fraud corruption and to destroy me for having witnessed it.

     When I reported my audit findings, the panic that it created among state officials was greater over fear its links to political campaign funding would be exposed than that the tax fraud itself would be exposed.. The revenue boys and state auditors had a lengthy proven track record for dislodging allegations of tax fraud, but they were short on experience in covering-up links between the tax fraud and campaign contribution fraud.

     Before all this is over, the public will question how our legislature can pretend that nothing is wrong. Cynics may question whether our legislators select their leaders from among those who most readily float to the top on the buoyancy of hollow morals and hollow ethics, with the second tier getting assigned to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and the also-rans going on the Judiciary Committee. To head-off possible suspicion of that being the case, Governor, try to get the legislature jerked-over into a constructive posture as soon as possible. We must avoid the embarrassment of Colorado becoming the brunt of national scorn, ridicule, and contempt, and thereby limiting our next summer's tourist industry to mostly gawkers, cynics, and calamity-seekers.

     Don't be surprised if future defections from state service by high level officials come from more than just the legislative branch of Colorado government.

     Governor Ritter, please continue the courageous effort started by Governor Owens, who directed Ken Salazar to investigate this scandal. Ask John Suthers to investigate the Salazar investigation to find out why we didn't get a report on Salazar's investigation. The investigation got awfully quiet after I told them of the evidence buried in their own files. Perhaps Salazar got far enough along and realized that if he were ever going to cash-in on the good life within the Washington beltway he had better make his run for Washington , while he still enjoyed party endorsement, and hope nothing got reported.

     Please ask Cary Kennedy to check the state treasurer's office archives for records of negotiations with each of the state's depository banks during the Roy Romer years. Authorize her to discuss this matter with me. I can be helpful.  Please ask the legislature to release for public review all of its files on misconduct in its state auditors office. I have a list of several of the crimes involved, but the legislature can restore some credibility if they voluntarily report what they know rather than have me go first. However, to prime their pump, ask them what their understanding is on a state auditor boasting of supplementing his income through funds embezzled from a state account over which he had audit control. Ask them how that matter was disposed.

     Ask your director of revenue whether tax returns are still being entered into the computer files two times such as they were during the Alan Charnes/Steve Berson/Norm Taylor operation. The first entry into the system was when the returns were received from the taxpayers and the second time many months later when the returns were pulled back from the file storage and keyboarded a second time into the computer system. Your contacts in the legislature should be able to verify this from state auditor records.

     Ask the PERA board of trustees what kind of background check they did on Bob Scott when they hired him for a position of trust over PERA's multi-billion dollar trust funds. This occurred at a time when the state treasurer was the most powerful member on the PERA board, and it also was the same state treasurer who appeared to have the most to lose if Scott had filed non-perjured audit reports on the corruption in revenue.

     Don't ask me for more details at this time on the role the Denver D.A. office played during these scandalous years. It is only slight hyperbole to say that Mr. Tooley's argument, that he had final authority to not prosecute any crimes that he chose not to, was within an inch of him having declared the Lamm/Romer administration a criminal sanctuary. And that problem did not go away when Mr. Tooley went away.

     Governor, I had no quarrel with you during our initial briefing meeting, but you have been making it increasingly difficult for me to keep feeling good about you. If you do a good job on rooting out the dishonesty you inherited in Colorado government, I will give you all the support that I am humanly able to give. Your likely legacy then will be having rewarded our honest taxpayers with sizable tax cuts rather than having your staff out searching for opportunities for new tax increases. Think about what I have said.

     Please don't wait too long to give me a signal on what direction you plan to go. If you prefer not getting involved in this, I am prepared to load the entire batch of soiled laundry onto

     PS: Governor, this is not the time for either of us to blink. Each of us has them out-numbered, if you share my belief that President Andrew Jackson was correct when he said "One person with courage makes a majority".

DATE:      January 15, 2008

TO:            The Honorable Bill Ritter, Colorado Governor

CC:            John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General
                    Mike Coffman, Colorado Secretary of State
                    Cary Kennedy, Colorado State Treasurer
                   Peter Groff, Colorado Senate President
                   Andrew McElhany, Colorado Senate Minority Leader
                   Andrew Romanoff, Colorado Speaker of the House
                   Mike May, Colorado House Minority Leader
                   Mary Mullarky, Chief Justice, Colorado Supreme Court

FROM:    George Lanes

RE:          Supplement to

     Governor Ritter, I both need and want your help to bring an honorable resolution to corruption in Colorado government.

     Is your silence regarding my 12/15.07 memoed request for help, your reply? If so, I will proceed on my time-table. I hope we do not have opposing views on how to deal with this problem. I have shared my concerns about your judgment. I have not questioned your integrity.

     Even though the Denver district attorney's office didn't believe that felony crimes in state government during the Lamm/Romer years rose to a level meriting prosecution, so that those crimes are now beyond prosecution on grounds that the applicable statutes on limitations have expired, there still are some interesting wrinkles to be considered. I was not judgmental with you when you stated that you didn't know that there was a "duty to report crime" provision in the Colorado criminal code. But, after I explained to you that such a provision did indeed exist, this mess becomes a new interesting ball game.

     Even though violation of the "duty to report crime" law may not be actionable in a Denver DA's concept of justice, it might be actionable in the "street concept" of justice. That law applies to all Coloradans, and should especially apply to Colorado 's public officials such as yourself and legislators who have specifically taken a sworn oath to uphold that law. If you folks disregard it, you will further fuel public support for ballot initiative solutions. One such initiative may be to add teeth to that law as it applies to violators while under a sworn oath to uphold it. Another possible initiative could be to remove state government from the jurisdiction of the Denver DA, by assigning jurisdiction to another county, other than Adams . This would obviously be much less costly than trying to relocate all of state government outside the jurisdiction of Denver .

     Bear in mind, criminal justice is currently investigating serious crime in revenue. The legislature is holding evidence, which state auditors uncovered on patterns of corruption in revenue, which might assist in this investigation. As an experienced criminal prosecutor you should be able to explain that to Peter Groff and Andrew Romanoff who are in charge of those legislators.

     If you have trouble getting the legislature's attention, let them know that the evidence they have been holding may also expose a bribe paid to a witness to a felony in the state auditors office, to get that witness to turn over his hard copy evidence of the felony, so as to obstruct the felony from being prosecuted. I understand that the deal involved legislatively appropriated funds negotiated with the help of the office of the Colorado attorney general. The Denver DA couldn't really come to grips with his felony. We may have to ask Senator Salazar whether this matter had come up in his investigation. Or if Salazar examined the computer program the auditor office designed for their follow-up auditing in revenue. This new computer program was designed to reject from examination any tax account which did not meet their predetermined criteria for being a safe one to look at. As they ran tax accounts through their program they rejected suspicious accounts, read safe accounts, then, announced they found no fraud.

     When I heard auditors speak of using controlled substances while on the job, I inquired as to who all might know about that. The response included the statement that they believed the legislature had been lumping the booze and pot costs in with other audit training seminar costs.

     Voters likely will agree that legislators have forfeited their lordship over the state audit function.

     My concerns, that you are exposing the best interests of our honest taxpayers and the economic health of our business community in the way you are holding the door open for organized labor, are varied, but some of those concerns will be explained here. There is no question as to the need for reform in our state personnel department, but you are taking a giant step in the wrong direction. Organized labor at the bargaining table will compound those existing problems.

     I believe the studies that have shown compensation to public employees ranges from higher to nearly double what comparable labor talent is worth out in the real world. The revenue department used bloated salaries to buy the silence of employees. Two key people on my audit team had enough respect for me to explain why they chose to take a dive when they learned of the retaliatory attack on me. One said his base pay was 50% more than his talent could earn in the Denver market place and he could not risk having to expose his family to the reduced standard of living. The second teammate told me the director had promised him a lifetime of financial security if he would take a dive and keep his mouth shut about the fraud. He said he had experienced unemployment and the difficulty of finding a job and chose not to go through those difficult days again.

     The director created a new lucrative position, gifting this former teammate to a handsome new salary. The title of that new position could reasonably be understood as a "watchdog", standing guard between the area of the fraud and any future nosy person such as myself. Organized labor will drive up the cost of already over priced state labor.

     While I was working in revenue, our governor as employing a "decentralized" state personnel system which gave him a "right hand man" in various departments as needed. His "street don" in revenue had the audacity to light into me for refusing to take a dive on the fraud as others were doing. This street don had on an earlier occasion taken an irresponsible, unauthorized action against me in an attempt to set me up for early removal from my job in revenue. Governor, as I think of your "state personnel department of tomorrow" I can not but wonder how that street don message would have been delivered to me if it had come via a Jimmy Hoffa type. Your affair with organized labor is adding clout where it is not needed. There must be a better source for campaign contributions without encumbering our honest taxpayers in this way.

     Organized labor will make it increasingly difficult to deal with the above type of problems and at the same time drive up direct labor costs in state government. This obvious benefit of enriching labor's capacity to fund the left side of the political spectrum qualifies as blood money. In light of the way our honest taxpayers have been ripped-off in recent past administrations, this is not the time to subject them to this new exposure. Governor, I know you can do better than that.

     Your fast track action may trigger public support for initiative action not only for a right to work law in Colorado but also a constitutional prohibition against organized labor funding political campaigns if any of its resources have come from payrolls directly funded by taxpayers. As wild as that idea may seem, it would be interesting to see how the courts would deal with it.

     Governor Ritter, my website is not, generally speaking, in the public domain. I did not inform the press or the mainstream. Nor could it be Googled until quite recently. Only state officials and a few personal contacts were made aware of it. If you can convince me that you are willing to direct the power of your office in pursuit of an honorable resolution of the problem, I will consider pulling my website. I am as anxious for your success as a governor as I expect you to be, if you join me. The stakes in this are pretty high. If you want to work with me you'll find me to be easy to deal with.

     Another thought just came to mind. I was not around when our voters were conned into believing that they had used up all their common sense and good judgment while voting on statewide offices at the top of the ballot so they had no more good judgment left to vote on offices listed further down on the ballot such as the office of supreme court justice and state auditor, thus foolishly allowing politicians to broker Colorado's public consciences, reducing the selection of supreme court justices and the state auditor to a political spoil. I think I may be able to make a compelling argument that those changes may have a close interrelationship in time with the emergence of the culture of corruption in revenue. If we engage in serious, detailed public debate about putting those offices back on the ballot, I would not be surprised if a current justice or two were to opt for swapping a perch on the high bench for a pillowed perch back home in a rocking chair on his or her front porch.

     Governor Ritter, you can be on your way to acquiring the mother legacy of all legacies.  Peace.


May 7, 2007 -  New Legislators - 66th Colorado General Assembly --- Posted
September 11, 2007 - 66th Colorado General Assembly --- Posted
December 15, 2007 - Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, etal --- Posted
January 15, 2008 -  Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, etal --- Posted
February 23,2009 - Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper --- Posted
February 22, 2011 - Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper --- Posted
September 11, 2011 - Denver Mayor Michael Hancock --- To Be Posted
August 28, 2013 - Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper --- To Be Posted 



DATE: May 7, 2007

TO:        Legislators Who Were Newly Elected To The 66th Colorado General Assembly

                Senators: Mike Kopp, John P. Morse, Scott W. Renfroe, Chris Romer, Gail Schwartz, and Steve Ward. 

                Representatives: Edward Casso, Randy Fischer, Sara Gagliardi, Bob Gardner, Dan Gibbs, Stella Hicks, John Kefalas, Steve King, Jeanne Labuda, Kent D. Lambert, 
               Claire Levy, Marsha Looper, Don Marostica, Frank McNulty, Victor Mitchell, Cherylin Peniston, Dianne Primavera, Joe Rice, Ellen Roberts, Jerry Sonnenberg, Amy
                Stephens, Ken Summers, Spencer Swalm, and Glenn Vaad.

FROM: George Lanes

RE: (website is under construction– designed to do for political corruption what "MississippiBurning" did for white supremacy)

      I have reason to believe that your leadership neglected to properly inform you during your orientation program following your election to the general assembly. This memo provides you with a courtesy alert to one of the most serious problems to face the legislature in recent history. Recent past general assemblies have chosen to stonewall the problem which is soon to be aired in the public domain at

      You deserved to have been fully informed on this problem prior to the administration of your sworn oaths to uphold Colorado 's laws and constitution. You could then have made an informed oath in good faith, forewarned about the land-mines buried in your pathway.

     The culture of corruption in your revenue department is the rogue elephant that has been camping in your parlor since it took up residency there during the days of Richard Lamm, Roy Romer, J.D. MacFarlane, and Dale Tooley. By the time the dust settles on the current criminal investigation in revenue, your constituents will understand how state officials orchestrated the security program in revenue to accommodate to its culture of corruption. Inform yourself on this problem so you can avoid the slippery slope leading to the snake pit crowded with predecessors.



DATE:    September 11, 2007

TO:          Sixty-Sixth Colorado General Assembly (100)

FROM:   George Lanes


     This is perhaps the last time that I will be asking for your help in rescuing the Colorado department of revenue from its culture of corruption. The time is ripe now while criminal justice is investigating that department's latest ten million dollar embezzlement allegation. If the earlier problems have slipped your mind, you can refresh your memory by going to For further details on the corruption, review the state auditor files that a previous general assembly sealed from public view and you folks are currently sitting on. You may be harboring information that could assist criminal investigators to finally start connecting the dots on some of the problems in that zoo.

     When I first reported the massive tax fraud, the state power-structure foolishly sought comfort in its effort to confiscate my files and silence the rest of the witnesses. They blew those assignments. Witnesses in both revenue and the auditors office helped me in exchange for my protecting their identity. There were other witnesses too.

     For example: One told me he was present, within ear-shot, and over-heard the corruption being discussed with a fellow named Richard D. Lamm before we had a governor by that name. Another said, during the heat of the retaliatory attack on me, that Roy Romer confronted Lamm on this matter and was told to back-off and mind his own business. If Roy would have used a little common sense, he would have come back to me and asked what the governor could possibly have meant by that. And I could have explained to Roy that to mind his business means he has to have the governor arrested.

     Further examples: Another witness, while the governor was busy circling his wagons, told me the cover-up was the hottest item on the governor's executive agenda. I then verified that, by noting the responses of a few of the executive cabinet members while I discussed the tax fraud with them. One cabinet officer interrupted me in mid stream, warning me that, if I didn't back-off and keep my mouth shut about the fraud, far worse things would happen to me than already had happened. I responded that so far I had experienced loss of employment, character assassination, professional blackball, economic strangulation, violation of my civil rights, and direct threats against my personal wellbeing. I then asked what some of the new things were that were awaiting me

     And more: Two additional witnesses told me they had encountered compelling evidence of separate serious misconduct trailing into the governor's office. In one case the corruption dovetailed in with the scandal in revenue so we discussed combining our efforts. That is until a couple of days later when the informant told me the deal was off because the "powers that be" had ordered him to abort.

     Your predecessors put on a number of fraud investigative performances. During one of their gigs, they brought in the revenue director and his deputy to provide entertainment with their slapstick testimony. A legislative straight-man picked a particular delinquent tax check deposit from a sizable array of delinquencies, and asked the director why this check didn't make it to the bank as required by law. The director said the check had fallen behind the file cabinet and wasn't found until much later. No one then asked him what kind of a taxpayer will send in a tax payment running into six digits to the left of the decimal and not be concerned when it doesn't clear his checking account by the end of the month. Nor in two months. Nor in three months, nor in four months, nor in five months or even in six months. Most taxpayers within this time period might start worrying about possible late penalties, accruing interest charges, and perhaps even a knock on the door in the middle of the night by a uniformed process server.

     Following the above noted question, a tax collector minding his business, could have answered that this taxpayer wasn't about to interfere because once before when he interfered with government, by the time the smoke lifted and the dust settled, he was stuck with having confessed being guilty of MULTIBLE FELONY FRAUDS in that other agency of government It's no wonder now why he wouldn't risk kindling the ire of a hard-nosed tax collector over something as trivial as not running his little ol' check to the bank.

     No one asked the director if he could make arrangements with his deputy so they could take turns working late so one of them would be there when the cleaning lady came in to ask her to be sure to sweep behind the file cabinets so they could hurry all the money to the bank.

      Years ago public corruption was sometimes corrected by citizens taking to the streets armed with pitch forks, axe handles, and fire brands. Since those measures have gone out of style, there "just ain't too much correctin' goin'on nowadays". You see, the reports of public corruption are likely released through a political filter by politicians who abhor a scandal on their watch. If criminal charges do result, they are prosecuted and adjudicated by people whose formative years have been, very likely, spent within the culture reeking with corrupting opportunities and influences. HOWEVER, now that we can deal with the unvarnished facts free of the filtering by going to, we can possibly find public support for reform.

     Even though I CAN NOT ACCEPT a politician's concept of a reform program, I can and will whole-heartedly accept a legislative endorsement for reforms. There is ample time and opportunity for all of you to come out smelling like a rose with a little bit of effort on your part. Please speak out and ask your constituents to pitch in on this opportunity.

     Peace and good cheer.

     PS: Attached for the benefit of the old timers are copies of my May 7, 2007, memo to freshmen legislators.

     PPS: Have I mentioned before that the governor's straw-man example of a seven digit delinquent deposit that he explained to the press, was no less fabricated than the director's file cabinet nonsense? Our audit team paid special attention to those checks as well as to many others.

     PPPS: I understand that there is a mounting desire to find a new way to shove our hard working private sector honest taxpayers under the bus by greasing the skids for organized labor to infiltrate our state personnel system. I agree that the performance within the state personnel system can be pitiful when little people are positioned to solve big people problems, but the solutions for those problems are not the forte of organized labor. If you wish to improve careers in state government, you might start by sponsoring a "Can You Top This" contest, offering cash prizes for the most outrageous accounts on behavior behind the walls of Colorado government. Work on solutions to those problems and look for a new source of campaign funds.


DATE:  February 22, 2011

To:        The Honorable John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado

CC:       John Sutters, Attorney General                                                                                         
              Walker Stapleton, Treasurer
              Scott Gessler, Secretary of State
              Colorado 68th General Assembly
                   Senators: Aguilar, Bacon, Boyd, Brophy, Cadman, Carroll, Foster, Giron,
                                   Grantham, Guzman, Harvey, Heath, Hodge, Hudak, Jahn, 
                                   Johnston, K. King, S. King, Kopp, Lambert, Lundberg, Mitchell,
                                   Morse, Newell, Nicholson, Renfroe, Roberts, Scheffel, Schwartz,
                                   Shaffer, Spence, Steadman, Tochtrop, White, Williams 
                   Representatives: Acree, Balmer, Barker, Baumgardner, Becker, Beezley,  
                                   Bradford, Brown, Casso, Conti, Coram, Court, DelGrosso, Duran,
                                   Ferrandino, Fields, Fischer, Bob Gardner, Deb Gardner, Gerou, 
                                   Hamner, Holbert, Hullinghorst, Jones, Joshi, Kagan, Kafalas,  
                                   A. Kerr, J. Kerr, Labuda, Lee, Levy, Liston, Looper, Massey, 
                                   McCann, McKinley, McNulty, Miklosi, Murray, Nikkel, Pabon,
                                   Pace, Peniston, Priola, Ramirez, Riesberg, Ryden, Schafer, Scott, 
                                   Solano, Sonnenberg, Soper, Stephens, Summers, Swalm, Swerdfeger,
                                   Szabo, Todd, Tyler, Vaad, Vigil, Waller, Williams, Wilson

FROM: George D. Lanes (303-988-2425)

              813 S. Lee Street, Lakewood, Co 80226-3974

RE:       Supplement to 

    Governor Hickenlooper, should I have second thoughts concerning your capacity to deal with public corruption?  I am still on your side unless you have decided otherwise.

    When I began briefing you for the governor’s job 741 days ago, it was because I believed you sprang from the same quality stock that I sprang from.  I continued to brief you in communications dated 2/23/09, 12/15/09, 1/20/10, 4/29/10, and 12/11/10.  Your silent responses ring hollow.  I need an audible from you, if I am to continue to assist you.

    My patience with the inept Governor Bill Ritter used up all the wiggle-room in my schedule, so there is no more wiggle-room left for you.

    You need to establish a constructive posture for yourself before Colorado’s honest taxpayers find out how the political power-structure sheltered participating tax cheaters in the intricately engineered tax racketeering scheme, with the tax racket spoils used to illegally fund contributions to the political power-structure’s campaign coffers.

    Don’t take a false sense of comfort in this scandal not being considered news-worthy in Colorado.  A Denver Post designated spokesman told me that the Post would not expose this scandal involving Dick Lamm and Roy Romer because Denver Post readers don’t want to know about it.  A city desk editor told me that when once they have sent a scandal like this to the tank, they do not allow their reporters to later fish the story out for subsequent news reporting.

    I have a gut feeling that someone out there in the “foreign-forty-nine” media might be willing to boot-leg this news story back into the Colorado news-blackout zone, if such becomes necessary.

    Timing is ripe for you to be aggressive now while you are trying to resolve our state’s budget shortfall.  Your budget balancing effort will be a sham if you ignore the direct effect that the public employee bloated compensation packages have had on the state budget shortfall.  In addition, the bloated compensation has bribed many state employees to help cover-up costly public corruption which also impacts the state budget shortfall.  State employees have admitted to adopting a lifestyle of criminal misconduct to avoid getting fired and having to find a job out in the real world where their talent is worth so much less than the bloated state compensation.  This is why our public corruption reform program is critical.

      By way of a copy of this memo, I am asking other sworn guardians of the public trust to give you moral support to tell the power-structure to take a hike, because you, as governor, have sworn to serve the public interest.  I ask the freshmen in state government to visit my website and slowly scroll the Information/Reform section, and then go back to the top and click on Memorandums and scroll the four that are there. The newly elected officials will then have knowledge equal to what the carry-over officials have known for years.  Governor, none of my memos to you are posted on my website.

    When I discovered that Denver’s criminal justice system was unwilling and/or unable to deal with felony public corruption, I initiated a GNITS operation.  You are aware that a STING operation offers opportunities for wrong doing so the wrong doer can experience appropriate consequences.  A GNITS operation, the reverse of a STING, offers opportunities for right doing so the right doers can experience appropriate consequences for right doing.  The results of my GNITS operation found several honorable champions who gave me help, but the vast majority of public officials were chameleons who chose to cover for the few charlatans in government who have been over their ears in corruption.  If we don’t get moving on this compound agenda, folks will think government in Colorado is as broken as it is in Washington.

    Governor Hickenlooper, let’s see if we can find some sort of constructive course to get started on before Colorado becomes a national spectacle.  To reach me, use contact information noted above.  Peace.



DATE:    February 23, 2009

TO:      John Hickenlooper, Mayor of Denver, Colorado
CC:     Members of the Sixty-Seventh Colorado General Assembly 
           The Honorable Bill Ritter, Governor, State of Colorado
           John Suthers, Attorney General, State of Colorado
           Mary Mullarky, Chief Justice, Colorado State Supreme Court

FROM:  George D. Lanes, - (303-988-2425) – 813 S. Lee Street,  Lakewood, Colorado 80226-3974

RE:        Supplement to 

I am as troubled as I expect you to be for me to have to report serious problems in Denver and Colorado government in a widely distributed memo, but I have been double-crossed, stomped upon, and stonewalled so many times when I reported some of these problems to state and city officials, that I have no choice but to do it this way.

I consider you to be the same breath of fresh air and bright ray of sunshine to Denver government as Governor Bill Owens was to state government.  Being you were, in a sense, catapulted from the private sector into your job, rather than having to pay your dues working your way up through the system, you may be surprised regarding this memo’s contents.

    I wish to share with you some “Once Upon A Time” stories.

    #1 – Once upon a time I returned home from a week-long out-of-state trip.  As I was exiting my auto, my neighbor hollered over to me asking if I had heard about the tax fraud in Denver.  I responded, “No, I have been out of state all week.  Was the fraud in the Denver consumer use tax area?”  He didn’t know.  I asked how he had found out about it, and he said it was in the Denver papers.  I then said it must have been uncovered by a private sector accounting firm, because government auditors aren’t allowed to report stuff like that.  Mr. Mayor, you may ask your DA if I was incorrectly judgmental.

    You see, Mr. Mayor, while I was analyzing patterns of tax fraud at the state level, I encountered a strangely reoccurring pattern of behavior in the Denver consumer use taxing area which appeared to be outside of conformance with any reasonable tax law and it appeared to not possibly have been happening at random.  I reported my concerns to Alan Charnes while he was in charge at the state level.  This was long before the private firm reported the fraud and long before Charnes was put on the payroll down at city hall.

    #2 – Once upon a time I prepared charges of serious misconduct by some lawyers on state payroll, who were participants in the state tax/campaign funding fraud scandal.  I filed these charges with the Colorado State Supreme Court.   The Supreme Court rules say that such charges are to be examined for merit by either of the two panels created for that express purpose.  A prominent Denver lawyer got those charges summarily blocked from reaching either of those two panels to be reviewed for merit.

    #3 – Once upon a time I was contacted by a state auditor who asked for my help regarding some corruption down at Denver city hall involving stolen money.  I told him that it sounded like something the DA should handle, but he said that was the problem.  He said that the DA wouldn’t do anything about it and the other state auditors wouldn’t either.  I told him I would take this matter under consideration.

    I knew my only hope for success was if all the ducks were lined-up just right.  I contacted the Colorado Supreme Court and requested that it help me remove the Denver DA from office.  Eight days later the DA resigned from office saying he needed more time campaigning for the upcoming mayor election and he didn’t have time to continue his DA work, too.  #1 duck was in place.

    I knew the sitting mayor would be of little help because he was looking toward retirement rather than re-election, so why would he give a hoot.  HOWEVER, on January 27th give or take 24 hours, the mayor threw his hat in the ring.  #2 duck was in place.

    Sometimes it’s as important when action is taken, as it is how action is taken.  I struggled looking for a good day to make the next move until flipping to my March calendar page, when the 17th jumped out at me.  I reasoned that if St. Pat’s Day was good enough to run some snakes out of Ireland, why not see if it would work in Denver, Colorado.  I visited your DA office that afternoon, and made an offer that couldn’t be refused.  The DA got it only about 25% right, but it was close enough for the mayor to announce 20 days later that he had suspended from duty both the Denver Chief of Police and his boss the Denver Safety Director.  They were allowed back on the payroll long enough to cash in on their retirement benefits and then replaced.

    Mr. Mayor, you may say, but George, those are just stale isolated issues.  To that I say, the prominent lawyer who had summarily thrown out the charges which I had filed with the Supreme Court was at that time councilor of record  for the Denver Safety Director who was caught stealing charity money intended for the poor folks in town and certainly not intended to be pumped into the mayor’s political campaign coffers. 

 If the charges that I had filed with the Colorado Supreme Court had resulted in stripping the licenses of the lawyers I had cited, the high court would have had some explaining to do as to why one of those then-unlicensed lawyers ended up on the Supreme Court payroll.

    If any of the foregoing is hard to understand, ask your sitting city auditor if he can explain the difficult parts. My memory is not clear as to who all were in the evening executive legislative meeting the night I testified.  But, it is possible that your city auditor was.  However, my memory is clear that he is one of many state officials that I leaned upon trying to find help to shut down the fraud in revenue.  That night, in my presence, the state auditor was directed to subpoena the bank records of all the tax accounts that I had identified.  We are still waiting for that first subpoena to be served.

    If your city auditor has no recollection of this problem, perhaps the Denver mayor who preceded you in office can help.  When I learned that the governor had summoned his executive cabinet into battle against me, your predecessor was one of the first cabinet officers that I, in face to face discussion, tried to bring up to speed in understanding what honest taxpayers expect of public servants on the public payroll.  There is more for later.


    Mayor Hickenlooper, when I suspended work on this memo on February 11, and gave you a draft copy of the above, I was in the exhausting throes of wondering whether this insanity is ever going to end.  With all the tax money we pump into criminal justice and then find that criminal justice is one of our biggest problems.  I am recharged now and will continue.

    You may have a greater role than state officials in bringing coloradoburning to an honorable conclusion.  There are at this time, as has been true at times past, a number of fine legislators, but the help I have received from them has been under the radar.  I would not be on my feet today without the tremendous help they gave me behind the scenes.  But, top level state officials are basically helpless because they can’t deal responsibly with the corruption without the power-structure finding out, and then they will be history at the next election.  I believe you got your job on your credentials without having to kiss-up to anyone.  And, bear in mind it is Denver voters who get to vote on who makes the decision on whether or not to prosecute crime in state government.  My harshness with the legislature is directed at a numb leadership and a bunch of chameleons.   

    The reason I am publishing at this time is on the advice of a legislator.  The legislator said that the corruption was so extensive that my only hope to win my battle was to get the message out to the taxpayers so they would know that without public outrage the corruption will out-live us all.  My memos are in competition with the Denver printed news with its blend of fiction.  I also am competing with the Denver electronic news which is delivered mixed with entertainment.  I may never be as entertaining, but I do the best I can as I report what the Denver media do not report..

    You may have been at a distinct disadvantage when you took office, being the changing of the guard in the mayor’s office does not have the outgoing administration briefing the incoming one on the need to know stuff.  However, I had a good start on briefing each of your two predecessors while they were on state payroll, before they moved to the payroll down at Denver city hall.  

    Before I forget, what in the world is behind City Counsel Chair Jeanne Robb’s snit over not getting to put the Dale Tooley name on city property?   Does she commute from Mars?  I seem to remember once before when someone tried to put Tooley’s name on a new CBI building.  I complained then in writing, that it would be adding insult to injury to make CBI rub their noses in it every day having to come to work in a building bearing the name of their antagonist.  Please try to save Chair Robb from her folly.

    Bear with me for some more “Onces Upon A Time”

    #4 – Once upon a time on a Thursday, one of the revenue boys told me I was history.  He said the state legislature had finalized and signed-off on the state operating budget for the following year and I had been specifically excluded from that budget.  I went in to see if the revenue director knew what he was doing.  He said the state was facing a budgetary shortfall so budgets had to be cut wherever they could.  I reasoned with him that if he hadn’t been so abstinently against shutting-down all the tax fraud going on we could have already saved enough money to pay my small salary for more than the next one hundred years.  I added that without me around to try to get him jerked over on the right side of the law, he might end up in jail.  He flinched, blinked, reddened, and then said it was the governor who removed me from the budget.

Little did the director realize that in fingering the governor, he had offered me an “economic stimulus bailout”.

    You see, at this time whenever the legislators were in doubt as what was in the best interests of Colorado taxpayers, they would check to see where the governor was heading and then legislate in the opposite direction.  So, I went from the director’s office to the legislature to see if they understood what the governor had done.  Two days later on Saturday when the legislature convened to finalize and sign off on the chunky parts of the capital budget, such as highways, prisons, contingency funds, etc., a legislator in each chamber rose to a point of privilege, and asked the chair to suspend the rules so they could revisit the operating budget to correct the governor’s mistake.  This wasn’t nearly as big news in Denver as it was in Pueblo where the Chieftain splashed it in front page, bold headlines, above the fold in the following day’s paper.

    My continuing presence in revenue apparently led to a so called turf war as to who would have the honor of falling on his sword if they couldn’t get rid of me first.  When the turf war battled to a stand-off, the Denver DA dispatched one of his boys to go up to revenue to break the tie.  When the turf war was over the DA mercenary retreated to his office to destroy the then unneeded evidence.  I happened to be on hand at the time so I stepped into his office and stood behind him to see which set of evidence he was shredding so I would know who won the war.  He soon sensed that he wasn’t alone, straightened up, and turned around.  As our eyes met I just nodded my approval and left.

    Were you aware that after the state revenue director left the state payroll and went on the payroll down at Denver city hall, it appeared to me that he was riding shotgun on the Denver financial stage during the massive overruns out at DIA?

    #5 – Once upon a time in another legislative investigative gig on whether or not there might be fraud in revenue (not the investigation I earlier reported on where the revenue director couldn’t hurry the money to the bank because it had fallen behind the file cabinet when nobody was watching).  This time the testimony was just as hilarious.  Being these hearings are taped and transcribed, I kept asking every few days if I could listen to the tape.  For a couple weeks they said the transcriber was still busy typing it up and then by the third week it was that the tape was scratchy and low volume and background noise so I wouldn’t get much good if I were to listen to it anyway.  Weeks later I went over to the state archives and checked-out the tape.  It was the most perfect record of the fraud investigation that you could possibly imagine.  Not just 18 minutes were blank - the entire tape was not only blank but had never even been indexed for any possible use in state government – a prefect record of the investigation.  The librarian agreed that this tape must have come directly from a supply shelf, gotten labeled as the fraud investigation tape and sent to the archives without having been processed or used.

    Just a little side bar, Mr. Mayor, before #6.  I grew up in a Midwestern community where when crooks were doing what crooks are wont to do, if I told them that I was going for the law, they would make fresh tracks away from the scene of the crime.  But, in Colorado government when crooks were doing what crooks are wont to do, when I told them that I was going for the law, they didn’t make fresh tracks at all.  They just made fresh pots of coffee and ordered in more doughnuts.

    #6 – Once upon a time I sent some information on the fraud in the Lamm/Romer administration to 60 Minutes which 60 Minutes returned to me – not being of interest to them.  Later, I sent more compelling information to 60 Minutes, asking them to return it to me if it didn’t meet their interest.  When 60 Minutes didn’t return it, but instead announced that they were coming to Denver to talk to the governor, I assumed they were seeking a second opinion.  That September, 60 Minutes went before a national audience that had been conditioned to believe that 60 Minutes was a legitimate, honest, and responsible investigative magazine.  In that aired segment, Mr. M. W. instead of asking for a second opinion proceeded to declare his amazement that in all this time there wasn’t even so much as a hint of financial scandal in the Lamm administration.  I wrote to 60 Minutes asking how they could let Mr. M. W. make such an outrageous, inexcusable, and unfounded statement when they had in their procession compelling information to the contrary.  60 Minutes wrote back and blatantly denied that Mr. M. W. had ever made any such statement.  I wrote back and told 60 Minutes that I had in my possession hard copy of the transcript that 60 Minutes had produced that showed that what I had said that Mr. M.W. had said was precisely what Mr. M. W. had said in that Lamm segment and that we whistleblowers were having hard enough time surviving in Colorado without having 60 Minutes dumping on us too.  60 Minutes removed me from their mailing list.

    #7 – Once upon a time after I had corresponded with the IRS commissioner, a couple of feds paid a visit to my home one afternoon.  Amid the pleasantries, we reviewed some of my experiences with the IRS fraud squad.  I complemented the fraud squad’s diligence when I was talking about the low end of the pyramid, but when my concern was at the pyramid’s pinnacle the fraud boys would take off for the powder room and forget to come back.  I was concerned because the way that the state tax rackets were set up in Colorado, I figured the participating tax cheaters had to file fraudulent federal returns to avoid exposing what was going on at the state level.  The feds explained how the fraud squad can sometimes misunderstand problems like that, but I could tell that by the look in their eyes they apparently didn’t believe what they were saying any more than I believed what they were saying.

     I told them I was waiting for someone to take the Colorado tax problem to Washington where it might be easier to deal with.  It looks like Secretary Salazar may have fulfilled that need when he hauled his baggage with him to Washington.  Time is on our side.  The longer it takes to resolve the Salazar issue the easier it will be for taxpayers to understand our problem.

    Mayor Hickenlooper, with your help, our moral/ethic economic stimulus bailout plan will dwarf the president’s plan.  Our reform plan will cause the nation’s existing resources to be wisely directed to responsible needs and in the process lower our taxes.  We will be inviting all of the downtrodden to a banquet table catered by honest and responsible public servants serving health food.  The president, rascal that he is, invites the downtrodden to his banquet table, but seats them at the low end with lots of appetizer, but the main courses are stuffed with hope full of wild promises and proven failures, while the president and his unfaithful servants glutten-out at the head of the table on sow bellies and pork rinds.  At least our plan doesn’t discriminate, our plan is kosher.  

    When it is time to bail out future generations faced with this massive debt, if our president’s feet no longer reach down to mother earth below, we may hear his bailout plan for them announced in elegant intoned rhetoric from the boiling clouds above. “Surprise!  Surprise!  Armageddon At Sunrise!”