“The Attorney General’s Office has no love for Douglas Bruce,” he said in a telephone interview. ”I’m always suspicious of them going after somebody like this.”
But it’s important to remember what the case is really about. It began with a campaign finance complaint filed months ago by Denver lawyer Mark Grueskin against the backers of Amendment 60, Amendment 61 and Proposition 101.
In that complaint, Grueskin alleged the backers should have formed issue committees and disclosed the financial sponsors behind the massive signature-gathering effort that led to their placement on the ballot.
Bruce was subpoenaed to be deposed in connection with the case. Despite efforts to distance himself from those measures, Secretary of State’s Office records show eight professional petition circulators responsible for gathering thousands of signatures lived for a while in a house he owns in central Colorado Springs.
Bruce tried to get the subpoena quashed. Although the administrative judge refused, Bruce still didn’t show up for the deposition.
The administrative law judge didn’t have the authority to hold Bruce in contempt and referred the matter back to the Secretary of State’s Office. That office, in turn, enlisted the aid of the Attorney General’s Office.
Thus, the AG’s Office was acting as the legal representative of the Secretary of State’s Office and didn’t have any stake in the game other than to make sure one of the basic tools of the judicial system — a subpoena — was honored.
The AG’s Office got a court order from District Judge Brian Whitney compelling Bruce to comply with the subpoena. Process servers subsequently attempted to serve him with the judicial order 30 times.
But Bruce — never one to shun the limelight — was suddenly nowhere to be found.
Fed up with the cat-and-mouse game, the AG asked the judge to find that Bruce had been dutifully served and to issue a contempt-of-court citation.
The judge agreed. And that’s basically where things stood until Aug. 3 when David Lane waded into the fray.
The case was set for a hearing Aug. 18, but Lane asked for a week’s delay because he has some business in Gitmo.
The AG’s Office said it was willing to give Lane an extra week, but nothing more, saying “undue delay” will prejudice the state.
“One possible outcome of the contempt hearing is that the Court will impose remedial sanctions requiring Mr. Bruce to sit for a deposition and to produce documents in the underlying administrative case,” the AG stated. “Such sanctions will be completely meaningless if they occur too close to (or after) the Nov. 2, 2010 election.”
”By all appearances, Mr. Bruce has made every effort to avoid providing the subpoenaed information, and retaining counsel now, over five months after he was first subpoenaed and over three months after the commencement of those proceedings, only further contributes to the delay in resolving this matter.”
To summarize, Bruce is fighting hard to avoid giving this deposition. And the question is, why?