Headlines — March 04, 2022

Headlines March 04, 2022


 [Download Audio]


US Dept of Justice Alleges Nursing Homes Violate Americans with Disabilities Act

The United States Department of Justice is asserting Colorado is violating Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act by unnecessarily segregating individuals with physical disabilities in nursing homes.  

The ADA law requires public entities to administer services to individuals with disabilities in the most integrated and least restrictive setting appropriate to their needs. 

Colorado administers services to people with disabilities under the State’s Medicaid program.

After receiving several complaints about the state’s long-term care system under Medicaid, the Department of Justice opened an investigation in Nov.  2018 and revealed their findings in a 15 page letter to Governor Polis yesterday. 

According to the Department of Justice, unnecessary institutionalization is common in Colorado. The Department of Justice is next requiring Colorado to enter  voluntary compliance negotiations rather than 

Former Loveland Cops Pleads Guilty To Assault In Performing Rough Bodily Arrest of Woman with Dementia 

A former Loveland police officer who first joked about the rough arrest of a 73-year-old woman with dementia has now pleaded guilt guilty to second-degree assault. He faces up to 8 years in prison.

Bodycam footage caught Officer Austin Hoop violently detaining the woman, Karen Garner, in June 2020 for allegedly walking out of a store with less than $13 worth of merchandise. After arresting Garner, Hopp pins Garner against his police vehicle and twists her arm up toward her head. As Hopp dislocates Garner’s shoulder he says to her, “Are you finished? Are you finished? We don’t play this game.”

Last year Garner’s family received a settlement from the city of Loveland for her dislocated shoulder. Garner’s daughter-in-law is advocating against the plea, arguing that their case has sufficient evidence that would not require a plea deal. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Maillaro stresses that Garner’s case has sufficient evidence for prosecution, but there are other factors that go into the consideration of a plea deal. Maillaro stresses that just because the plea deal is put in place does not mean they are undermining justice in Garner’s case.

Hopp faces multiple criminal charges without a plea deal as he awaits his sentence in May.

Denver Auditor Sues City Council Over Limits To His Subpoena Powers 

Denver Auditor Timothy O’Brien has sued the Denver City Council this week in opposition to a bill amendment that limits the subpoena powers of his office. The amendment, passed in 2021, grants record-holders of city agencies and city contractors to keep confidential and/or proprietary records on-site for audit review instead of handing them over to the auditor’s office for off-site review. O’Brien argues the amendment goes against best practices for government audits and violates the city charter.

According to The Denver Post, City Council President Stacie Gilmore has already filed for an ordinance that would repeal the subpoena powers section of the municipal code as council leaders say it will be cheaper to start over than hammering out differences in court. The repeal is up for first reading at Monday’s City Council meeting.

O’Brien is also clashing with council members over procedures for an audit covering council operations. O’Brien told The Denver Post the audit still has not happened as council leaders are insisting staff will only be available for interviews if a senior staffer or an attorney is present. 

State Health Department Roster Shows New COVID-19 Outbreaks For Boulder County Schools And Child Care Center That Occurred Weeks Earlier  

The March 2 state health department report covering new COVID-19 outbreaks shows oddities for Boulder County as more than half of recent outbreaks occurred on one day in K-12 schools or child care centers.

A spokesperson for Boulder County Public Health told the Denver Westword that many of the outbreaks dated for Feb. 17 actually date back further, to early January. The spokesperson insisted the outbreaks listed are not current even though they remain under active investigation.

From the new outbreak listings, more than a 1,000 staff and attendees to Boulder County K-12 schools and child care centers tested positive for the virus. According to the Denver Westword, Boulder County Public Health did not explain why it took so long for the outbreaks to appear on the state health department roster. 

Beverage Licensing Authority Votes No On Liquor License For Boulder Reservoir Restaurant

By a vote of 3 to 1, the Boulder Beverage Licensing Authority has denied a liquor license for Driftwood, a new restaurant at the Boulder Reservoir. 

After hearing 12 hours of testimony, the licensing authority decided to Driftwood’s liquor license in the early hour Wednesday. 

According to The Daily Camera, neighbors within the vicinity of the reservoir spoke against the license by expressing they have no need or desire for a restaurant that serves alcohol and is allowed to host events.