December 12, 2017

Archives for November 20, 2017

Hon. Katherine T. Sullivan to Retire from Eagle County Court

On Friday, November 17, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Hon. Katherine T. Sullivan will retire from the Eagle County Court, effective January 1, 2018.

Judge Sullivan was appointed to the Eagle County Court in September 2006. Prior to her appointment, Judge Sullivan was an Assistant Attorney General in the State of New York, a Deputy District Attorney in the 9th Judicial District in Colorado and an attorney in private practice. Judge Sullivan believes community involvement is important, and has participated in drug and DUI courts, the Hispanic Academy, and as a high school mock trial judge. She received her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and her law degree from the George Washington University School of Law.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Eagle County and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications are available from the State Judicial website or from Justice William W. Hood, III, the ex officio chair of the Fifth Judicial District Nominating Commission. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on December 8, 2017; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so by 4 p.m. on December 1.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Colorado RTD Manager Found Guilty of Bribery

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Hardin on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.

Defendant Hardin was the senior manager for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Colorado. Part of Hardin’s job responsibilities included setting goals on projects for small business participation and ensuring compliance of small business participation on various projects. Ward was the owner of a busing company as well as a manufacturing representative for Build Your Dream, a manufacturer of automobiles and rechargeable batteries. Ward represents Build Your Dream to sell their merchandise in Denver.

Ward’s busing company contracted with RTD as a service provider for Access-a-Ride, a program that provides local bus transportation in Denver for people with disabilities. From that point on, Ward paid Defendant monthly bribes in exchange for Defendant’s help to secure a contract with RTD, as RTD was preparing to solicit bids for the purchase of shuttle buses. Ward would meet with Defendant every month and pay Defendant to help Ward win the contract. Further, Defendant gave Ward information on potential competitors to allow Ward to tailor his proposal to RTD.

Unbeknownst to Defendant, Ward had previously pleaded guilty to tax evasion and, to receive a reduced sentence, relayed Defendant’s original bribe request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Ward then became the FBI’s confidential informant to investigate Defendant for bribery. The meetings and conversations between Ward and Defendant were all recorded.

Defendant was charged with four counts of committing bribery involving a program that receives federal funds. The jury found Defendant guilty of three counts relating to the proposed shuttle bus contract. Defendant appealed, arguing that, by dismissing one count, it could not be shown that he had solicited the requisite $5,000 threshold that is set by the federal-program bribery statute. The Tenth Circuit found that the $5,000 pertains to the subject matter of the bribe and Ward paid for Defendant’s help with respect to the lucrative shuttle bus purchase contract. The Tenth Circuit was persuaded that the statute was sufficiently definite to give Defendant fair notice of the criminality of his conduct.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals AFFIRMED Defendant’s conviction and sentence.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 11/17/2017

On Friday, November 17, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and no unpublished opinion.

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.