Paschall to face second trial in alleged kickback scheme

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By AJ Vicens

Former Jeffco treasurer Mark Paschall will face another trial related to charges that he tried to solicit a kickback from a political appointee on his way out of office in 2006.

Paschall was charged with two felonies — criminal attempted theft and compensation for past official behavior — and was acquitted on the attempted theft charge Feb. 15. The jury deadlocked on the other charge on an 8-4 vote in favor of acquittal, according to one juror, but the Jeffco DA's office says it is confident it will get a conviction in a second trial.

Paschall was accused of offering Kathy Redmond, a political appointee in his office, an $18,000 post-tax bonus on the condition that she give him half. Redmond reported the situation to District 1 Commissioner Jim Congrove, who notified Jeffco District Attorney Scott Storey, and an investigation was launched.

"We believe that our decision to go forward speaks for itself," said Pam Russell, Storey's spokeswoman. "The fact that this particular group of 12 jurors out of 500,000 people in Jefferson County wasn't able to convict doesn't mean that we wouldn't go forward and try again."

Russell referred further questions about the strength of the DA's case to Storey, who was not available for comment Feb. 28.

Paschall's attorney said after the short hearing on the morning of Feb. 28 that he wasn’t surprised.

"It's Jefferson County," said David Lane, Paschall's attorney. "They take more weak cases to trial than any other jurisdiction in the state."

Lane said he expects the second trial will be a repeat of the first, "hopefully with the same” result. He added that Paschall is upset with the prospect of another trial, and just wants the DA's office to "do the right thing" and let the case go.

Lane told the first jury it was a case of political payback from Congrove, who Lane said was upset because Paschall wouldn't share grand jury testimony he gave in an investigation of Congrove involving fraudulent bank documents. The grand jury in that case did not pursue charges against Congrove.

Lane said Paschall made a "flippant, off-the-cuff" comment to Redmond about what she should do with the money — which he termed a four-month severance — and that Congrove took advantage of the situation as a way to get back at Paschall.

"I haven't heard a thing about it," Congrove said when reached by phone Feb. 28, adding that he didn't have an opinion on Storey trying the case again. "There were two charges there, and if he's going to do it, he's going to do it. He's the DA, and he can do what he wants."

South Jeffco resident Randy Brown, who's been critical of Jefferson County in the past in relation to the Columbine High School shootings and who sat through a majority of Paschall's first trial in mid-February, said he's hoping for a different outcome in the second trial.

"I hope the DA does a better job on the second charge," Brown said.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.