A sheriff is under investigation by the Colorado secretary of state’s office after being accused of violating campaign finance rules in his effort to support Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
In a letter obtained by The Hill, the Colorado secretary of state’s office confirmed that it launched its probe into Garfield County, Colo., Sheriff Lou Vallario after receiving a complaint from American Muckrakers head David Wheeler last month.
Wheeler accused Vallario of using his position and email account in an effort to urge voters to support Boebert and to call out her Republican primary opponent, Don Coram.
American Muckrakers is a political action committee known for its effort to unseat Boebert, among other causes, according to The Denver Post.
Wheeler filed several emails Vallario sent from this taxpayer-sponsored email account during the time period, including a script he sent to himself that campaigned for Boebert and attacked Coram on his policies on law enforcement, drug use and immigration.
“Hi, this is Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario calling on behalf of Lauren Boebert for Congress. Make no mistake, Lauren Boebert is the only candidate in the Republican primary supporting law enforcement,” Vallario wrote in the email titled “FW: Phone.”
“I strongly encourage you to vote for Lauren Boebert and get your ballot turned in today,” he said.
Wheeler also accused Vallario of violating his civil rights in an effort to embarrass him while still using his official work account and of posting “purely political statements and endorsements” videos on the Garfield County sheriff’s Facebook page in support of Boebert.
Vallario, who has been the sheriff of Garfield County for the last 19 years, has been given 10 days to either fix or “cure” the alleged violations against him.
“This is a baseless complaint from a North Carolina-based, leftwing opposition group that has a history of telling lies that are subsequently disproven,” a spokesperson for Boebert said in a statement.
“Lauren Boebert has a history of believing she is above the law and telling lies. It looks like she and her political gang are going to be held to account by the authorities,” Wheeler said in a statement to The Hill. “She also lied and never filed the defamation lawsuit she proclaimed 97 days ago would bring us down and put me in jail. We are still here and will continue holding her accountable every day.”
The Hill has reached out to the Garfield County sheriff’s office for further comment.