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Sometimes, against all odds, the good guys win. It can even happen in politics.
This past week the Obama administration’s nominee for the post of U.S. attorney for Colorado, Stephanie Villafuerte, withdrew her name and quietly retreated to her current job as deputy chief of staff to the governor of Colorado. By withdrawing her name, she avoids having to answer questions under oath about events in 2006 involving Gov. Bill Ritter and friends in the office of Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.
Villafuerte has steadfastly refused to answer reporters’ questions about those 2006 events, so the prospect of answering them under oath in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was not pleasant. Yet, her escape may be temporary.
The spotlight will stay on Villafuerte because the vendetta against Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Cory Voorhis – launched by her boss, Bill Ritter, in October of 2006 – continues. Villafuerte’s role in that conspiracy will ultimately be uncovered as that story unfolds through depositions and new testimony in administrative hearings. Perjury charges against Villafuerte and individuals in the Denver district attorney’s office are one possibility.
As Shakespeare would put it, the truth will out. The only way the whole truth about the Democrat conspiracy against Voorhis can be suppressed would be for the federal government to reach a settlement with Voorhis prior to his Jan. 26 hearing before an administrative law judge at the Merit System Protection Board. For that to happen, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano would have to show more smarts than her predecessor and order her managers at ICE to settle Voorhis’ complaint and drop that agency’s vendetta. The reason that is unlikely to happen is that the managers at ICE have too much invested in punishing Voorhis for his actions in October 2006.
What did Voorhis do that is so unforgivable? He told the truth about scandalous plea bargains offered to criminal aliens in the Denver district attorney’s office when Bill Ritter was D.A., and he told the truth in a very public way. That’s a no-no in the eyes of the federal agency that can’t find the manpower or the will power to actually deport all criminal aliens from our local jails and prisons.
The federal government first tried to put Voorhis in jail by charging him with “exceeding his level of authorized access” to a federal criminal database. A jury found him not guilty of that charge or any other crime, so the managers at ICE then tried to fire him. ICE cannot admit that an ICE agent performed a public service by bringing those plea-bargaining practices to light. Heaven forbid that ICE agents in Phoenix or Seattle or Detroit should begin talking to congressmen or to the public about such things!
DHS could settle the Voorhis case easily by reinstating him to his GS-13 position, giving him his back pay and then transferring him out of Denver to another field office. Maybe Chicago? Probably there is not much corruption in the Chicago field office of ICE, right? So, maybe El Paso? OK, maybe not El Paso. The inspector general at DHS has launched a full probe of corruption in that ICE office related to the famed “House of Death” in Ciudad Juarez. Oh, did I mention that the internal affairs investigator who spearheaded the agency vendetta against Voorhis came form the El Paso office? Folks, I swear, we can’t make this stuff up.
So, what do we have here? Can it be true that the managers of the agency that can’t find the time or resources to actually enforce our immigration laws, who can’t audit even 1 percent of the employers in Colorado who are employing over 250,000 illegal workers, who can’t identify and deport criminal aliens unless and until they commit a violent crime that makes news – can it be true that these exemplars of integrity and professionalism nonetheless can find the time and resources to persecute not an ordinary ICE agent but an outstanding senior criminal investigator who handled the largest document fraud case in the agency’s history?
Janet Napolitano should ask that question of her appointee, DHS Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton. If he is smart enough to figure out the right answer, Cory Voorhis may yet get his job back. If not, the public will soon learn a lot more about the Denver ICE house gang that couldn’t shoot straight.