Does City Attorney Wynetta Massey Deserve a Pay Raise For Wasting Taxpayer Resources?

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Does City Attorney Wynetta Massey Deserve a Pay Raise For Wasting Taxpayer Resources? 
 
Sign your name today to oppose the pay raise the Mayor is recommending to City Council for the Colorado Springs City Attorney, Wynetta Massey. Instead of a pay raise Massey should be required to account for all taxpayer resources her office has squandered in advocating government secrecy and suppression of citizens’ rights, while silencing whistleblowers, punishing activists and promoting an illegal land grab from the public at Strawberry Fields. 
 
Rather than a pay raise, Wynetta Massey should resign, and here are some of the reasons.  
 
Abuse of the Judicial System to Suppress Rights of the Public: 
 
Through a recent open records request filed, it was learned that well over $100,000 has been expended by the City Attorney’s Office in unsuccessful attempts to punish Leslie Weise over the past 14 months through any legal or administrative means the City Attorney, Wynetta Massey, coul d unearth.  The City of Colorado Springs, through its City Attorney and City Council, should not be in the shameful business of using taxpayer resources to silence and persecute law-abiding citizens for their lawful speech. 
 
Within her Constitutionally protected free speech rights, in November 2016 Weise warned the public of important information the City of Colorado Springs was aware concerning unsafe air quality from the downtown coal-burning power plant.  The Colorado Springs City Council in the members’ supplemental role as the Utilities Board, has a fiduciary duty to provide this type of public health information to the citizens they serve, but instead chose to take direction from the City Attorney’to conceal that information in order to avoid embarrassment, economic penalties and/or regulatory responsibilities. Then they spent the next 14 months attacking Weise for her honesty. They have failed at every attempt and in the process wasted much more than 100,000 dollars in doing so. They are now being sued by Weise for defamation as a result of the decision to pursue these actions against her personal and professional life.  
 
Punishing Activists when even the Politician “Harmed” Sought their Release: 
  
Sherrie Smith and Deb Willenberg were arrested on July 18, 2017 for refusing to leave Senator Gardner's Office at 102 S Tejon St. Suite 930 in Colorado Springs until he fulfilled the requirements of his job, which included an in-person town hall and protecting the health of his constituents.  Senator Gardner’s legal counsel contacted the City Attorney in both Colorado Springs and Denver and asked that the charges be dropped against protesters arr ested in both cities.  The City of Denver chose to do what the Senator’s office requested and dropped the charges.   
 
In contrast, Wynetta Massey chose to prosecute Smith and Willenberg regardless of Senator Gardner’s recommendation, listing Norwood Developers as the "victim" in this case rather than Gardner himself. Willenberg’s trial has been set for Feb 9th 2018 and Smith’s trial has been twice delayed by the City Attorney, her new date is set for April 13, 2018, almost 9 whole months after her arrest.  It’s clear that the City Attorney is playing games with these defendants, with the ultimate goal of punishing and silencing activists in the Colorado Springs community.  
 
Pulling Public Land and Handing It to a Private Corporation: 
 
City Attorney Massey was also instrumental in charting an illegal land swap instrumented by The Broadmoor at Strawberry Fields. It was stated by the City Attorney’s office that the property wasn't acquired as the result of a vote of the people in 1885 when, in fact, it had been. The lawsuit that The Broadmoor is fighting was filed by the nonprofit Save Cheyenne, which formed amid the land exchange discussion in 2016 for the express purpose of opposing the swap. Save Cheyenne rightfully asserts  the land was purchased from a bank in 1885 after voters approved the acquisition, meaning it was dedicated park land, which can't be sold or traded without voters having a say. This is a grassroots volunteer run organization trying to preserve our open space and the will of the people, yet the City Attorney’s office repeatedly goes to bat for big money like The Broadmoor, once again wasting colossal amounts of taxpayer money to fight another embarrassing lawsuit.  
 
The City Attorney counters that there's no deed restriction, and the City's home rule powers enable City Council to dispose of city-owned land as it sees fit for the betterment of the city.  A hearing to the court of appeals was held January 9th. Both sides are stating they will appeal an “unfavorable ruling” to the Colorado Supreme Court.  
 
The Colorado Springs Independent reported “Council President Richard Skorman, who was the leader of Save Cheyenne until he was elected to Council last April, said he wants Council to discuss the matter. He also said he wants another legal opinion besides that of City Attorney Wynetta Massey.” 
 
Let’s Call for an End to this Pattern of Abuse by the City Attorney: 
There is a pattern here, it is clear that Massey has no real concern for justice and doesn’t seem to care how much of our money she wastes litigating baseless attacks against whistleblowers, prosecuting activists against the recommendation of the “victim”, and siding with the elite in stealing public land for profit. Sign your name to this petition today to oppose a pay raise for a City Attorney who only holds her own personal opinions and the opinions of wealthy citizens in high regard. Wasting taxpayer money on irresponsible and vindictive attacks is not in the job description for a responsible and ethical city attorney.  
 
For this pattern of waste of taxpayer resources and leading the City of Colorado Springs in the wrong legal direction, we disapprove of a raise for the City Attorney, and instead request an accounting of the taxpayer resources for these wasteful actions, in addition to her resignation.   
 
 
Press 
 
http://gazette.com/colorado springs-utilities-seeks- sanctions-against-clean-air- advocate/article/1591306 

 

 
http://www.kktv.com/content/ news/Mom-denied-utility- emissions-study-sues-City-of- Colorado-Springs-city-leaders- for-defamation-457613713.html 

 

 
http://www.kktv.com/content/ news/5-arrested-in-Colorado- Springs-for-protesting-at-Sen- Gardners-ofice-435292653.html 

 

 
https://www.csindy.com/ coloradosprings/local-health- care-activists-face-charges- despite-sen-cory-gardners- apparent-request-to-dismiss/ Content?oid=7951618 

 

 
https://www.csindy.com/ TheWire/archives/2017/12/12/ strawberry-fields-appraisal- needs-fresh-look-citizens-say 

 

 
https://www.csindy.com/ TheWire/archives/2018/01/09/ strawberry-fields-case-argued- before-the-colorado-court-of- appeals 

 

 



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