Colorado Lawmakers Ask Panel to Probe Villafuerte
By Stephanie Woodrow | November 9, 2009 12:28 am

Ten Republican state senators in Colorado have asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate Stephanie Villafuerte, who is nominated to be the state’s next U.S. Attorney, The Associated Press reported.

Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey and others last Thursday sent a letter to the panel, asking that it examine allegations that Villafuerte asked employees of the Denver district attorney’s office to access a restricted government database in connection with the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, the Denver Post reported.

Villafuerte is a long-time aide to Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D), who once headed the Denver DA’s office. Asking someone to access the National Crime Information Center database for non-law enforcement purposes can be a crime.

Villafuerte, who currently is Ritter’s deputy chief of staff, told the FBI in 2007 she had “no conversations” with the DA’s office about Carlos Estrada-Medina, an alleged heroin dealer who had struck a plea deal when Ritter was Denver’s top prosecutor. Ritter’s 2006 Republican opponent for governor, Bob Beauprez, had featured Estrada-Medina in a campaign ad against Ritter.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Cory Voorhis was charged with accessing the NCIC to check the alias of Estrada-Medina – and providing information about it to Beauprez’s campaign for the 2006 ad. A federal jury acquitted Voorhis, but he was fired from his job. Read our previous coverage here.

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