On August 8, 2022, the Colorado Commission on Judicial Discipline sent an 11-page letter to lawmakers outlining its interactions with the Colorado Supreme Court regarding the Discipline Commission’s efforts to examine the allegations flowing from the Mindy Masias contract.

Mindy Masias, a former chief of staff for the Judicial Department, was given the $2.75 million, five-year contract for judicial training through a no-bid procedure. However, Masias was fired from the department for financial irregularities.

The letter states that:

“Members of the Colorado Supreme Court, directly and through its senior staff, made a series of decisions and took a series of actions throughout 2021 and 2022 that limited the ability of the Commission… to do its Constitutionally mandated work. The Court chose to share documents and information with 3 other investigations, but not with the Discipline Commission. It chose delay, mixed messages, and obfuscation.”

According to the letter:

“On February 8, 2021, Executive Director (“ED”) William Campbell emailed Terri Morrison, Department counsel, asking for information regarding the recently publicized allegations related to the Masias contract. This is confirmed by a contemporaneous secondary source document. We have not located a response to this request.

On February 23, 2021, Chair Gregory writes to Chief Justice Boatright requesting Department files related to the recently published allegations. The request was made under the 2010 MoU and CJD 08-06. The Chair also requested an explanation of the Department’s policies for ensuring that misconduct allegations get reported to the Commission in order to evaluate how well the system is working.

On February 26, 2021, Chief Justice Boatright telephoned ED Campbell in response to the February 23rd letter. He stated his commitment to “getting the full perspective from the independent investigation.” He explained that he was not responding to the Commission in writing out of “concern about his response being forwarded.” This is confirmed by a contemporaneous secondary source document.

On July 29, 2021, ED Campbell in person discussion with Chief Justice Boatright in the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center parking garage. The Chief Justice “said, very emphatically, that he wants us to have all info we are seeking.” However, the Chief Justice explained that he “doesn’t want to give it easily” to the Commission so that he will have a “credible way to decline providing it” to others. This discussion is confirmed by a contemporaneous secondary source document.

The commission claims that even after the legislature mandated cooperation in a bill passed earlier this year, it has only encountered delays and sidesteps.

Discipline Commission Executive Director Christopher Gregory said:

“The events of 2021-2022 illustrate the many conflicts of interest that are deeply ingrained at
several levels of Colorado’s current structure for judicial discipline.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.