Brita Horn Archives - Colorado Politics

Ernest LuningErnest LuningFebruary 13, 20188min702

Republican state Rep. Justin Everett handily won a straw poll conducted Monday night after a bipartisan forum for state treasurer candidates at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. The three-term lawmaker from Littleton, nicknamed "Justin Neverett" and "Dr. No" for his penchant to vote against legislation, led the 10 candidates on the ballot with 34.9 percent of the vote.


Joey BunchJoey BunchFebruary 5, 20183min7630

Donald Trump could have his winter White House at Mar-a-Lago, and if he’s elected in November, Brian Watson could have a lunch-time state treasurer’s office.

Watson’s Denver-based commercial real estate firm Northstar Commercial Partners announced Friday it bought the Offices at the Art building for $17.1 million. The handsome three-story office building across Broadway from the History Colorado museum is about two blocks south of the Capitol.

Convenient though it might be, Watson’s campaign tells Colorado Politics that the candidate won’t be doing business for Northstar if he’s elected to oversee the state’s bank account.

We’re a bit premature to assume he would, however, given the crowded field of Republicans seeking to follow Walker Stapleton, who is term-limited and running for governor this year.

Watson is one of 10 people running for office, including five other Republicans and, in all, five sitting state legislators — Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud and Reps.Justin Everett of Littleton, Polly Lawrence or Roxborough Park, Steve Lebsock of Thornton and Dave Young of Greeley, plus Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn.

Watson got out to fast start, reporting about $215,000 in fundraising in his first quarter as a candidate to leave the field. He plans to collect petitions to get on the ballot, Colorado Politics’ Ernest Luning reported.

Watson is proud of his newly acquired jewel near where he his new office will be next year.

“This will be one of the top acquisitions in the Denver market for newer office space and we’re thrilled to be involved, especially with Denver as our hometown,” Watson, Northstar’s chairman and CEO, said a statement announcing the deal.

Northstar has interests in 48 “assets” in 16 States boasting about $1 billion in market value, he notes on his website. Over his 18-year tenure with the company, he has been a part of more than 130 deals.


Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 26, 20173min510
State Rep. Polly Lawrence has an effective digital campaign called #FocusOnTheFactsWithPolly, other than it being a 25-character hashtag, as part of her campaign for state treasurer. Last Thursday she  released a video on her Facebook page that hits hard at state employees who might be more focused on their next job than getting the best […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirDecember 8, 20175min6360

The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that Brita Horn, the elected Republican treasurer of Routt County who is running to be the next treasurer of Colorado, is once again facing off with officials in her own county over how she runs her office. According the the Pilot & Today’s Scott Franz, “the work environment and top management at the county treasurer’s office” are being called out in a memo sent to Routt County’s human resources department.

Writes Franz:

The memo, which outlined the observations of Yampa Valley Regional Airport Director Kevin Booth, Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins and Clerk and Recorder Recording Supervisor Barb Houston, stated the three officials walked away from a grievance hearing for a treasurer’s office employee thinking “there is reason for concern about fair and equitable treatment of (treasurer’s office) employees below the level of Chief Deputy Treasurer.”

The memo raises serious questions about Treasurer Brita Horn’s leadership of the office at a time she is seeking higher office in the state as Colorado’s treasurer.

Horn had clashed with her county government over another matter just last August. As Colorado Politics’ Ernest Luning explained in a report at the time:

The problem … involved a computer system that calculates how much of the tax revenue the county collects gets distributed to the county, towns, schools, libraries and other taxing entities within its boundaries. When it came time for Horn’s office to send out checks for April tax receipts, it turns out, she only distributed money from a nine-day period, instead of the whole month, leaving $5.8 million sitting in treasurer coffers until July, when the error was discovered and the funds delivered.

The mistake that left local taxing entities short nearly $6 million for months. Horn told Luning then, “…not one dime of Routt County tax dollars was lost or misspent or that one Routt County program lost even one dime … And I definitely take responsibility that this issue has been corrected and, moving forward, will never happen again.”

Horn also responded to her latest round in the hot seat. Reports the Pilot & Today’s Franz:

…Horn defended the work environment at her office and said there is a “strong moral fiber” among current members of the staff.

Horn blamed a major property tax distribution error on (former county treasurer’s office employee Rani) Gilbert and fired her for other reasons, but Gilbert contested the firing and alleged unfair treatment and discrimination under Horn’s leadership.

Franz also offers more details of the latest criticism leveled at Horn:

The officials wrote in the memo they had heard enough evidence at the private grievance hearing to “substantiate reason for concern that employees below the level of Chief Deputy Treasurer fear retaliation from their supervisors if they question the actions, methods and/or directives of their supervisors.”

The officials also stated in the memo the county should be concerned about whether the workload distribution in the treasurer’s office is equitable, whether supervisors and bookkeepers have adequate training and whether Treasurer Brita Horn has adopted adequate checks and balances in the wake of a nearly $6 million property tax error her office made this summer.

In the state treasurer’s race, Horn so far is vying with five other Republicans for the GOP nomination: Brett Barkey (who is district attorney of Grand, Moffat and Routt counties), state Rep, Justin Everett, state Rep. Polly Lawrence, state Sen. Kevin Lundberg and Brian Watson. On the Democratic side of the ledger, state Rep. Steve Lebsock — in hot water over widely reported sexual-harassment allegations — state Rep. Dave Young and Bernard Douthit are running for the treasurer’s post.


Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 5, 20173min405
Rep. Steve Lebsock of Thornton, a candidate for state treasurer, is criticizing Gov. John Hickenlooper’s plan to boost the state employees’ retirement plan by asking them to pay more. In the request rolled out last week, Hickenlooper asked the legislature to put $94.7 million into next year’s $30.5 billion budget for state employees’ compensation package. […]

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Ernest LuningErnest LuningOctober 20, 20178min19640

Declaring he's the only candidate with the right business and financial experience to serve as Colorado state treasurer  — including bouncing back after losing almost everything when the economy crashed — Republican Brian Watson on Friday jumped into a GOP primary that already includes three state lawmakers, a county treasurer and a prosecutor.