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Colorado First Judicial DA's Office opens criminal probe into Lakeside auto sales; move follows CBS Investigation

Brian Maass describes his Lakeside investigation in "Your Reporter: Behind The Story"
Brian Maass describes his Lakeside investigation in "Your Reporter: Behind The Story" 10:05

The district attorney's office in Jefferson County announced Monday that it would pursue a criminal investigation into the sales of town-owned vehicles in Lakeside after a CBS News Colorado investigation showed the mayor sold at least two of the town's vehicles to his daughter, the town clerk, for well under market rates. Documents and interviews indicated town clerk Brenda Hamilton then turned around and re-sold the vehicles at a profit.


 Brionna Boatright, a spokesperson for the Colorado First Judicial District Attorney's Office, said "We have decided to open an investigation into the allegations." She said she was not at liberty to reveal much more. Boatright previously said following the CBS News Colorado reporting, her office received numerous requests from members of the public asking the DA to look into the allegations.

In one case, the town purchased a Ford Fusion from the Arapahoe County sheriff for $5,000 in September 2021. But a bill of sale and other documentation show that three months later, Mayor Robert Gordanier sold the vehicle to his daughter for $1,000. A man in Wyoming says a few months after that, he spotted Hamilton's Ford on Facebook Marketplace and bought it for $12,000.

Brenda Hamilton CBS

 Gordanier said he only signed the bill of sale and assumed his daughter then filled in the sale price and other details.

Arapahoe County sheriff Tyler Brown learned of the sales through the CBS News Colorado investigation and said "I am truly disgusted by it."

He said the vehicle was supposed to be used by the Lakeside police department and was not supposed to be sold three months after Lakeside bought it.

"Ultimately," said Brown, "We thought we were doing the right thing for the right reason and they wrecked it."

He termed what happened "completely deceptive tactics that are just really unacceptable."

In another case, Gordanier also signed a bill of sale for a town-owned 2008 Chevy Tahoe, selling to his daughter for $300 in 2022. Records show Hamilton later sold it to a man in Thornton who said he paid $7,000 for the SUV.

Mayor Robert Gordanier CBS

Lakeside's town attorney said the town has hired an outside agency to look into what occurred but he declined to provide further details. At a town council meeting last week, town trustees discussed instituting new purchasing authorizations and procedures and are also eyeing a new computer system for processing bills.

Interviewed by CBS News Colorado, Gordanier said, "She wanted to buy 'em and so I sold them. It was a lot easier just to do it and be done with it than having to advertise or anything."

At another point, he acknowledged what occurred sounded like "sweetheart deals."

Brenda Hamilton, the town clerk, denied personally reselling the town vehicles, denied buying the Tahoe and Fusion for discounted prices and said she could not remember details about the vehicle transactions. Attorneys for Hamilton and her father, Gordanier, said they had additional information that would provide a fuller picture of what occurred, but they declined to release that information citing the ongoing town investigation.

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