Dirty Tricks in the Aspen Sheriff's Race
Posted on Sun Aug 06, 2006 at 09:01:55 AM EST
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I'll state my bias here right up front. Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis is one of the most enlightened law enforcement officer around -- and practicing criminal defense as long as I have, I've met quite a few.
At 61 and still standing 6/6â³, Braudis has been Aspen's sheriff since 1986. This year he picked up a challenger, Rick Magnuson, who is the Aspen Police Department community safety officer. Their crime-fighting philosophies, particularly with respect to the war on drugs, couldn't be more different.
But Magnuson just pulled a dirty trick. This spring, Braudis had been sick for a few months. I saw him twice in Aspen the first weekend in June and he was clearly suffering from bronchitis. That Friday he told me had been his first day out of the house. The bronchitis had lingered and wouldn't go away. His doctor had insisted on him having blood tests, and it came back with news that he had very high cholesterol and blood pressure. He also said he had packed on a few too many pounds. Here's a picture I took of him that Saturday afternoon.
So Braudis took a seven week leave of absence to get his health in order. He didn't tell outsiders where he was going. Magnuson decided to play undercover cop.
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