AG to file contempt motion today against Bruce

June 17, 2010

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office said it will file court papers today seeking a contempt-of-court citation against Colorado Springs anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce.

The move comes after a Denver District Court judge on Thursday found that Bruce was properly served with an order for his appearance at a May campaign finance hearing about three measures on the November ballot that would limit government taxes and spending.

Because the judge found that Bruce was served with a court order that he didn’t obey, Bruce could be found in contempt, said Attorney General’s spokesman Mike Saccone. The motion granted by the judge Thursday states that personal service is not required, and that service can be made by mail or other means, including e-mail.

Saccone said the AG’s office is preparing a contempt motion. The office didn’t release a copy of the motion or say what sanctions it will seek against Bruce.

Bruce maintains he wasn’t properly served and can’t be in contempt.

“A subpoena requires personal service. I was not personally served. Therefore, I was not legally served,” he said.

“I’m not worried. I did nothing wrong,” Bruce said.

Bruce said he was out of town most of the time from May 4 to May 18, when the state tried 30 times to serve him with the order to appear.

Bruce said he returned to Colorado Springs at 1 a.m. May 27 after an out-of-state trip that had been planned in January, but he declined to go into details.

“It’s just another witch hunt,” Bruce said. “They need a whipping boy or something.”

A judge ordered Bruce to appear before an administrative court to testify about his involvement in efforts get Amendment 60, Amendment 61, and Proposition 101 on the November ballot.

Proponents collected more than 400,000 signatures for the three measures, which would limit the ability of local and state government to borrow money and raise taxes.

Bruce, author of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and a lawyer by training, has sought to distance himself from the measures.

The administrative court, though, found that he coached the proponents of the measures by e-mail.

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