“Breakin’ The Law” with Garfield County commissioners!

(Edited for Front paging – promoted by ClubTwitty)



The party may be over for the Garfield County, Colorado commissioners, as local residents have filed a lawsuit against the county for violating open meeting laws and passing an illegal resolution. 

On March 27th of this year, the Garfield County Commissioners took part in a secret meeting in Vernal, Utah with oil shale lobbyists and other elected officials from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.  At the meeting, a plan was developed to back a radical proposal for oil shale speculation that could negatively impact the quantity and quality of our water resources.

Now, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky has admitted that they failed to properly give notice of the meeting to the public, which led to the commission rescinding their illegal resolution. However they have yet to admit that their participation in the secret Vernal meeting was illegal.

The public was blocked from participating in the meeting – despite the fact that public business was discussed in a public building, and on the taxpayer dime. Colorado’s Open Meeting Laws clearly state that elected officials need to conduct public business in public.

The commissioners are performing their new song, Breakin’ the Law, on demand!



The Garfield County residents acted after months of public outcry and calls for the commissioners to pledge to never again meet in secret, closed-door meetings on public business went unheeded. In fact, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky’s response to a constituent’s request that he pledge to stop meeting illegally with oil shale lobbyists was to call a constituent arrogant.  

This from a commissioner caught lying in the news about his level of involvement in the illegal, secret meeting with oil shale lobbyists.  Initially, Jankovsky claimed that he was just a listener at an informational meeting and that they weren’t there to make any decisions.  But, documents obtained through an open records request from Colorado Common Cause showed that not only was Jankovsky a co-organizer of the meeting – responsible for personally inviting several oil shale lobbyists – but he also sent an email on March 18th to an oil shale lobbyist stating that “Our goal is to come up with a statement that all the counties…can sign off on and send to the BLM.”

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. dom says:

    Or in this case the song.

    The commissioners have shown that they think that they’re above the law and reproach. Hopefully the voters will recoginize that they’re taking a back seat to campaign contributors and lobbyists and vote these guys out of office.

  2. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    “Come up with a statement” does not imply a vote or a decision. If the statement still needed to be approved by counties, no decision was made.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      run for office with that perspective and vast knowledge. Get your dumbass recalled.

      They discussed county business where their citizens were EXCLUDED

      • Just Anita says:

        I care. I live here, and battling these ass hats on the front lines.  

        • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

          The Garco Commissioners were on board with the O&G molestation of Garfield County from the beginning of the recent shale gas play (2003ish). Those who were there will remember some classic exchanges between our defender and champion, Tresi Houpt, and the Dean of Industry Sellouts, Larry McCown, who is long since embraced in the loving arms of the Oily Boys Retirees Club.

          Citizens of Garfield County, like Anita, have been steadfastly standing up for their rights and fighting to defend their homes since the natural gas industry and the Bush administration opened the corn crib door and turned in the hogs. Now the sellout is complete and there isn’t a single voice on the commission that represents the residents of the county.

          Thanks for manning the cannons, Anita…and if you see Judy Jordan, give her my best.

          • Just Anita says:

            The selection of Frank Hutfless to be our next Garfield county attorney is another piece of the forensics puzzle. Martin, Samson, and Jankovsky had a plan, that started with removing Tresi Houpt. Judy being fired,  as OIL/GAS liason, and replacing her with Kirby Winn, former Chevron employee and WSCOGA affiliate, is another connector to the industry’s plan to turn Garfield into a drilling pad from Parachute to Carbondale. The old goats of Garfield are great puppets for the industry that pits profit over people.



            Ed Green, former county administrator, was immediately put on the chopping block when he refused to fire remaining long time staffers, that would challenge the commissioners plan. Removing all the staffers was deliberate, and started in 2011 the moment Jankovsky took office.

            Judy was the first sacrificial lamb, and Mike Samson was quoted behind closed doors as referring to removing ‘liberals and deviants from the county as a priority the moment Tom Jankovsky took office 1/2011. She did file a complaint, and hoping she’ll get her day in court.

            Closet bigotry and attacks have been part of who Mike Samson is for a long time. He was born and raised in Rifle, so it’s no secret that he’ll lie through his teeth denying any claims that he hates homosexuals and uppity women. But, he does. Actions do speak louder than words. It’s not what these commissioners say, it’s what they do.



            Samson was known for referring to any teacher over 30 and not married, as being ‘homosexuals that shouldn’t be around children.’ He tried to fire many teachers during his “pillage and purge the deviants” teacher days; carrying that quest to fire several city employees and replacing them with his Mormon faithful, during his one term as Town Council Member, when he had the authority to do so.

            Unfortunately, Mormon’s get all personal about their own being denied public opportunities to pontificate, and this group is successful at re-packaging their crap, putting it on a stick, and marketing it as ice cream to the public. Sadly, Samson was elected to commissioner in 2008, and his placid calm of being reasonable is a facade. A very suspicious “smear campaign” happened days before the ballot drop against Samson’s Democratic challenger – and a popular judge Steve Carter – who had the unfortunate situation of sharing a name with someone from the front range, who didn’t have clean background.

            Samson will go to extremes to protect his anointed authority role. Bishops within his church, are viewed as having the authority to speak for the Lord. There word is gospel, and non-believers will be damned to Hell on Earth, as a result.

            Samson takes the basic Mormon covenant from church doctrine to “lie for the Lord”, seriously. Gee, does this sound familiar? The Mormon church is a main investor in AT&T, Bain, and so on. It’s a main reason why Romney is being told to not release his tax returns. It would force the church to reveal their corporate ties to international interests and Koch funding ALEC. I’m hearing that Martin is a “Jack Mormon”. I guess that means he drinks coffee and beer, and Mormon when it suits him politically and financially.

            These three became a trilogy of treason the moment Jankovsky won in 2010. Just follow the patterns. Each county job has been replaced with “consultants”, like American Stewards of Liberty. Many have funding support from ALEC. These consultants are not only re-writing local land use codes, but these codes are being written to deliberately challenge state and national public land use policy behind closed doors. All these consultants can be traced to ties with ALEC.

            It’s no coincidence that Mike Samson is chair of Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado (AGNC), and directly involved with hiring Scott McInnis – a card carrying ALEC member – as AGNC’s executive director back in May. After Scott “Mr. Copy and Paste” McInnis’s failed stab at Governor, he couldn’t buy a job in the Western Slope. Samson also serves as industry appointed Santa with Brent Jolley, doling out Federal Mining and Leasing District money to our local municipalities to buy voters. Suspicious carcinogens in your drinking water, here are some new IPads for your kids, complements of FMLD! Follow the oil slick folks!

            I’m hearing details from very good sources in Mesa County, that Jankovsky has no plans to run for re-election, hence his uncharacteristic altruism to protect the other two commissioners up for re-election this cycle. Add the commissioners decision to create a new land use advisory committee with supporting special interest Republicans, like Larry McCown and Brett Jolley, and the relaxed land use codes will allow the opportunity for Jankovsky to sell his mountain to industry interests.

            Just a reminder that Tom Jankovsky received campaign contributions by Lester H. Smith and Robert Gordy, a total of $24,000 from principals in SG Interests, to help beat Tresi Houpt in 2010. SG Interests and Antero are pushing for immediate “federal unitization of the Thompson Divide”, and clearly looking for a political return on that $24,000 investment. Jankovsky is still under water financially, and wouldn’t mind a quick a quick retirement from the ski business and from local politics. He was the perfect puppet for the industry. Jankovsky was financially motivated, and heart broken after the death of his son in a snow boarding accident.

            Word is getting back to me that Jankovsky has referred to Sunlight Mountain as an albatross around his neck to industry insiders. When you see Jankovsky take hits to cover for the other two commissioners, his altruism is clearly suspect.

            John Martin’s recent real estate transactions should be investigated fully along with ties to Balcomb Green and Associates in all those transactions. My leaks in Colorado Springs tell me there there are folks who had concerns based on rumors that he knew how to cook real estate books. When we look at John Martin’s recent interest in acquiring many local buildings in GWS, one has to wonder if there is fire behind the smoke. Why is Martin so interested in buying up so much property? I wonder, if John would be open to having his tax returns reviewed by the property authorities?

            Of all the options our commissioners could have chosen, they choose Frank Hutfless as their man to be Garfield County’s attorney. It was bad enough that we have Andrew Gorgey from Colorado Springs, Mr. “What real estate transaction?” to be both attorney and county manager. But now, we get a Vegas gambler and Gumbah from Jefferson County – Zinna v JeffCO – to add to our cast of corruption characters.

            We’re living Shock Doctrine in our county, and the residents of all political stripes need to snap out of their hypnotic state, and quickly. If there was ever an opportunity for the good folks in the front range to help out friends in the West, now is the time. We need to remove Martin and Samson this election cycle.

            I helped recruit two great challengers, public servants with excellent track records for serving the community. We need to stop the pillaging for profit now. Guaranteed Jankovsky will resign, voluntarily or involuntarily, if we win in Nov., and the people will be able to take control of their county over industry interests.

    • parsingreality says:

      Why do you hate America so much?

      Oh, that’s right, you never answer questions.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      I don’t live over there but got fairly well acquainted with Tresi when she was a commish. She is a hero. I have often thought of Lake County as being much like Garfield and we also had a group of commissioners 4 years ago that had a series of secret meetings that also included Tom Wiens. Luis Toros helped them repair their illegal actions, probably because they were all Dems

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