Greene: DA Brauchler is playing hide-and-seek with public records

The Colorado Independent: This just in from the gulag department…

Since we reported that George Brauchler has been trying to hide court records chronicling his office’s misconduct in prosecuting a death penalty case, the 18th Judicial District Attorney has taken his secrecy efforts further. Ridiculously further.

Now Brauchler is trying to hide court documents about The Colorado Independent’s efforts to make the original court documents public. He’s asked a judge to seal his office’s and The Independent’s court pleadings in the public records battle and to prevent our lawyers from sharing those documents with us, their client, or with you, the people of the state he purports to serve.

Not only is Brauchler’s request “literally unprecedented,” as lawyers for The Independent argued in a pleading filed Wednesday, “it is also an affront to the traditional notions of due process and fundamental fairness that are the foundation of America’s justice system.”

As we’ve long reported, the pattern in the 18th Judicial District of suppressing key evidence raises serious questions about its ethical fitness to prosecute crimes, especially death penalty cases.

But Brauchler’s efforts to shroud that misconduct in secrecy bring up new concerns about his fitness to become Attorney General, the office he’s seeking after quitting the governor’s race when Republican AG Cynthia Coffman announced her candidacy last month. Brauchler, also a Republican, is trying to manipulate the court system to suppress documents that shed critical light on him, his record as DA, and the colleagues he dispatched – for millions of tax dollars – to secure a death sentence at all costs. That may not bode well for a candidate seeking election as the state’s top law enforcement official.

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