The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office investigation into the notarization of hundreds of deputy affidavits without deputies signing them in the presence of a notary has concluded with calls for sanctions against two notaries who say they were ordered to violate state laws. The supervisor they accused of ordering them to break the law faces no consequences.
The two notaries should lose their commissions as notaries for the remainder of their terms, the Secretary of State’s office investigation recommended. According to the investigative report, the notary stated that he brought it to his supervisors’ attention that he did not witness the signatures and therefore should not notarize them, but they insisted. The notary also stated that he was coerced into falsely notarizing the documents in fear of losing his job if he did not get it done.
The notary and a witness who observed the incident, told the Colorado Springs Independent newspaper that the sheriff’s administrator ordered him and the other notary to notarize roughly 800 deputy oaths more than a year after deputies signed the documents when it was discovered that a former worker hadn’t notarized them earlier.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s investigation looked at 11 notaries, most of whom worked for other agencies and notarized oaths for officers who were deputized. Eight cases were recommended for dismissal.
The investigation, which was reopened when the newspaper pointed out that investigators hadn’t bothered to contact a key witness, made the final conclusion that there was not enough evidence that the two notaries were intimidated by the sheriff’s administrator, who denied making the order.