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Douglas Bruce refiles complaints in Colorado Springs city election

By: BILLIE STANTON ANLEU billie.stantonanleu@gazette.com
February 19, 2015 Updated: February 20, 2015 at 1:44 pm
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photo - Douglas Bruce walked out of a Denver jail in 2012. Bruce said an appeal on his case had already started, and predicted his conviction will be overturned.  (The Gazette file)
Douglas Bruce walked out of a Denver jail in 2012. Bruce said an appeal on his case had already started, and predicted his conviction will be overturned. (The Gazette file)  

Former state Rep. Douglas Bruce filed two campaign report complaints Wednesday with the City Clerk's Office, but neither evidently was reviewed because they were not filed correctly,

"No formal complaints have been filed - not on the proper form in the proper format," Clerk Sarah Johnson said Thursday.

Bruce refiled his complaints Thursday on those forms after expressing surprise over the city requirement.

"I've been here 28½ years. I'm not aware there's a form for filing a complaint. It's news to me. ... If the issue is filling out the right form in triplicate, I'll do that," Bruce said.

The form has been required under city code since 2012, city officials said.

One of his complaints focuses on campaign finance reports by mayoral candidate John Suthers, former Colorado attorney general. The reports don't show how the candidate is paying for his campaign headquarters at 214 N. Tejon St., Bruce writes.

He also asks that the complaint be reviewed by a "neutral party," saying Johnson and Secretary of State Wayne Williams have indicated that they support Suthers.

"We moved into the campaign office Feb. 1," said Suthers aide Kitt Smith. "The value of the rent is in-kind. It is going to be on our next report."

The other complaint is against Colorado Springs Government Watch, which paid for petition signatures to recall City Councilwoman Helen Collins, Bruce's friend.

The group filed its campaign finance report this week, saying it had collected $14,122 and paid it all to GOTV Canvassing, of Tempe, Ariz., to collect petition signatures for the recall.

The source of that money is listed only as coming from "General Treasury Funds." That reference is too vague to meet the letter of the law, and all of the group's campaign reports have been filed late, Bruce complains.

Johnson said the group "did file a report, and we're reviewing it. We review all campaign finance reports."

In January, she approved the petition to put the recall question on the April 7 ballot.

On its website, cosgw.com, the group questions Collins' "relationship with convicted felon and political activist Douglas Bruce as well as convicted murderer Bruce Nozolino."

Bruce was convicted in 2012 of attempting to influence a public servant, filing a false return and tax evasion. His attorney argued that his client was a target because he wrote TABOR, the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights passed by Colorado voters in 1992. Bruce is appealing the conviction.

Nozolino was convicted last March of murder and attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 2001, he shot into the home of his ex-wife's divorce lawyer and into the home of the judge who presided over his divorce, then shot the divorce lawyer in the eye in 2002. In 2008, Nozolino shot and killed his ex-wife's lover, a Colorado Springs jury found.

Collins had testified that Nozolino was a friend. "He's very friendly. He's just a good guy," she told the court.

She did not respond to requests Thursday for her comments.

Colorado Springs Government Watch is headed by Dede Laugesen, wife of The Gazette's opinion page editor, Wayne Laugesen.

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