Leslie Weise files intent to sue against Colorado Springs

In April, Leslie Weise received The Colorado Independent’s 2017 Whistleblower Award. Click here to read the full story [Source: The Colorado Independent]

 On February 8, the Colorado Court of Appeals dismissed a contempt citation against whistleblower Leslie Weise, which had been brought up by Colorado Springs Utilities because Weise spoke with a reporter about the contents of an air quality report which was sent to her by mistake. She had originally sought the report  through a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request, which was denied. But a copy of the report was sent to her anyway.

However the court’s decision did not end of the matter. On April 3, Weise submitted a CORA request to the city of Colorado Springs for an “accounting of city time and expenses pertaining to Leslie Weise.” From those records, Weise learned that Colorado Springs Utilities and the city have spent a significant amount of time and money in an effort to defame and discredit her.

On May 16, Weise filed a notice of intent to sue for defamation claiming the city of Colorado Springs conducted “a coordinated campaign to attack (her) character.” Published below is the statement by Leslie Weise to the city of Colorado Springs.

Read the Notice of Claim: Leslie Weise v. Colorado Springs

Clean-air advocate files intent to sue Colorado Springs officials for defamation

Lawsuit filed against city of Colorado Springs


Statement by Leslie Weise to the city of Colorado Springs

I have learned through open records law that the City Attorney’s office has continued to spend significant amounts of time researching avenues to continue its coordinated campaign to suppress my Free Speech rights using retaliatory tactics to malign and defame me to portray me as an unethical lawyer who has committed illegal acts. These efforts by the City are continuing even after the Colorado Court of Appeals dismissed the City of Colorado Springs’s request that punitive sanctions be imposed upon me. [1]

Through its actions, the City has made clear its motivations — to use the weight and depth of government resources to suppress my speech and to damage me to the point that I refrain from further exploration and speech of government activities through its utilities operations.

The City of Colorado Springs is seemingly sparing no expense to retaliate against me, because of lawful speech that I exercised (after diligently ensuring no rules or laws were being violated on my part) was horrifyingly embarrassing to them. Imagine that the City was directly caught making statements to the public to which they serve on numerous levels (as taxpaying residents, and as rate-paying customers of water and energy services to whom the City is obligated to safely provide) about their intentional misrepresentation about unsafe levels of air pollution which their own operations have been responsible for causing.

You are likely aware that sulfur dioxide pollution, caused mostly from coal combustion from power plants such as the Drake Plant in downtown Colorado Springs where over 300,000 people live within a five-mile radius of the plant, is responsible for triggering asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses when people are exposed to levels in the air (in parts per million) that exceed federal NAAQS air quality standards for even a very short duration. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who has studied this matter, that if the Air Quality Study commissioned by Colorado Springs Utilities showed air quality in compliance with state and federal regulations for safe levels of SO2 pollution, it would already be made public in its entirety. Instead, the City has chosen to attack my credibility and now continues that attack on my professional livelihood, to desperately cover up its misdeeds of its knowledge and concealment of information showing unsafe air quality from the community.

Because the City is discontent it was unable to secure desired punishment of me through the Colorado judicial system, it now continues its relentless coordinated campaign to silence me, with little regard for cost burden to taxpayers who deserve to learn all government information about the air quality affecting them.

Thus, it is with extreme despair and frustration that I have must seek to end these malicious attacks on my character and livelihood. Accordingly, I have again been forced to retain counsel to defend myself and my Constitutionally protected freedoms, and on May 12, 2017, Notification of Claim of federal and state violations of the law pursuant to C.R.S. s 24-10-109 was provided to Ms. Massey, City Attorney and Mr. John Suthers, City Mayor, by the law firm of Killmer, Lane & Newman, which Notice Letter is attached.

The City is making obvious their true motivation of silencing me in disregard of federally mandated protections for this very type of speech — peaceful expression of the truth. This is unacceptable treatment of me, or any peace-loving citizen of this nation.

Any questions concerning the notice provide may be directed to David Lane, Esq. at 303.571.1000.

Thank you.
Leslie Weise

[1] An Open Records request I made to the City on April 3, 2017 showed in response that approximately $100,000 has been spent by the City of Colorado Springs on legal and related expenses concerning opposition to my request for records concerning air quality around the downtown coal plant. Records presented account for about $93,000 including attorney salaries; however, City Attorney Wynetta Massey refrained from including an accounting of her time and expenses in the response.

Read the Notice of Claim: Leslie Weise v. Colorado Springs

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One Comment on “Leslie Weise files intent to sue against Colorado Springs”

  1. frackfiles Says:

    Go Leslie!!! Unfortunately if enough of our communities, neighbors, friends, and family are impacted we may have the voice to stop the insanity!!

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