DENVER — The former employee of Congressman Jared Polis who accused him of physical assault, was herself charged with theft of trade secrets and given an 18-month deferred sentence in connection with the incident that took place nearly 20 years ago.
Patricia Hughes was also ordered to undergo mental health treatments and ordered to have no contact with Polis or his business.
Polis was not charged, and no permanent restraining order was ever ordered, though he was subject to a temporary one.
Lisa Kaufmann, Polis for Colorado campaign chairwoman, said those responsible for the release should be ashamed.
“Jared Polis was the victim of a crime, was the person who called the police, and was found to have done nothing wrong,” Kaufmann said.
In a story released by The Washington Free Beacon police reports showed that Hughes accused Polis of pushing her in 1999 at his then Boulder-based office of JPS International LLC. Polis told police at the time that Hughes had resigned a few days earlier but called him on the day in question and threatened to “go after” him if he did not comply with her demands.
According to the police report obtained by Complete Colorado, on June 23, Hughes was removing files from the office when Polis arrived and told her she could not leave until he inspected what she was taking. Hughes refused to allow Polis to look through her items.
Hughes told police that when she attempted to leave, Polis “grabbed her and pushed her back into the office.” She alleged that she was grabbed and pushed into a filing cabinet causing bruises and other injuries to her arms and legs.
Polis told police that when he arrived, he found Hughes deleting computer files, along with several bags filled with company files, so he blocked the door to keep her from leaving until police arrived, she hit him with a bag and he “put both of his hands on her shoulders and pushed her back to prevent her from leaving.”
The police reports said bruises on Hughes’ arms were “not conducive with (Polis) statement that he pushed her shoulders.” However, the report said that the welt on Hughes’ leg was “conducive with the file cabinet in front of the door. There was also a key protruding from the upper right-hand corner of the cabinet that could have produced the welt.”
Police also found “many files that did not belong to Hughes,” in her bags. The files were original contracts with companies Polis worked with, valued between $25,000-$75,000.
Hughes also lied to police about keys she refused to turn over that opened the office door, identifying them as hers, the report said.
Hughes was eventually summoned for “Theft of Trade Secrets.”
A detailed timeline of events that occurred in 1999 show that Hughes gave two weeks notice to resign on June 9, 1999 after Polis questioned her for using his personal credit card to wire her personal account cash advances and not reimbursing the charges or providing receipts proving business expenses, among other things.
Also, according to the timeline, Hughes requested a temporary restraining order against Polis on June 25 and threatened other employees with restraining orders if they told her mortgage banker that she was no longer employed.
Catherine Olguin, Public Information Office for the Boulder DA’s office, confirmed that Hughes fulfilled her sentence in the Polis case, and elaborated on the process for a restraining order. Hughes, who died in 2014, had a lengthy criminal record.
“Restraining orders are civil matters,” Olguin said. “They are almost universally granted with just a minimal showing. The court has to set a hearing within a short time to show why or why not a permanent restraining order should be issued.”
On July 13, a request for a permanent restraining order against Polis was denied.
Polis changed his name from Jared Polis Shutz, which it was at the time, to Jared Shutz Polis soon after the encounter, but also during his election to the Colorado State Board of Education, leading some to question if the change was politically motivated.
The Polis campaign confirmed to Complete Colorado that the change was personal and intended only to honor his mother’s family name.
Polis supporter Elliot Fladen, a Libertarian, said Polis solidified his vote, saying he believes Polis’ actions were in self-defense and justified. He applauded him for handling the situation the way he did.
“When he saw someone was trying to steal it from him, he didn’t wait for the government to come in,” Fladen said. “I think that is an example of the type of character we need in a governor. Not someone who passes the buck. But someone who handles the situation.”
Fladen said Polis has proven repeatedly that he is successful in both the businesses and charitable world, and can be just as successful as governor.
“You have to look at his record and how he does things,” Fladen said. “He has a strong moral compass.”
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