A Complaint Alleging that Members of the Golden City Council and Golden City Staff Violated Sec. 2.32 of the City's Code of Ethics


[Editor's Note: While any complaint of this type requires an investigation, readers should be aware that the allegations listed in this document are just that, allegations to be proven or disproven in a court of law. However, Mrs. Olson has already prevailed in her civil case against the City. Those wishing to read the 1998 Westword article on the case, "Raising Holy Hell,"can do so by clicking here.]


October 7, 1999


Brian Starling, Councilor

City of Golden

City Council

911 Tenth Street

Golden, CO 80401


Dear Councilor Starling:

By this letter, I am alleging and it is my belief that Chapter 2.32 Code of Ethics, Section 2.32.110 of the Golden Municipal Code has been violated by Councilors Aldrich, Baroch, Johnson, McKee, Ramstetter and Schenck, City Manager Bestor, and City Attorney Windholz. As you are the only councilor not included in this list, I am directing my complaint to you.

This has been done by, specifically, but not limited to, the following:

1.Failing to require Hillside Community Church(Hillside) to comply with Chapter 18.30, Special Use Permits, either before or after it was acknowledged by the city this was required.

2.Failing to require Hillside to comply with requirements of Section 18.12.010 (2) Variances.

3.Issuing a variance to Hillside when there was no finding in conformance with the criteria in Section 18.12.030 (2)

4.Approving a phasing plan for completion of the Hillside project that included issuance of a full certificate of occupancy prior to completion when there is no authority in the code for such an action.

5.Issuing Hillside a full certificate of occupancy without requirements of the code being met.


The City Council is responsible by having voted for some of these and by knowing about others and taking no action to prevent them.

Mr. Bestor is responsible for enforcement of laws and ordinances of the city and the performance of city employees. He has been involved in these matters, certainly, since the April 21, 1998, letter (Lipstein to City Council) was received by the City Council.

Mr. Windholz is responsible for providing advice to the council and city officials regarding their official powers and duties. He has been aware of these matters, certainly, since the April 21, 1998, letter was received by the City Council. He drafted the variance and the phasing plan that were passed by Council with minor changes. He was consulted by staff about these matters.

In support of this, I have enclosed several items and recommend the review of others.

I have enclosed:

1.Section 3.8 of the City of Golden Charter requiring each councilor to take an oath or affirmation that he/she will support the ordinances of the city.

2.Section 7.3 of the City of Golden Charter requiring the City Manager to enforcethe laws andordinances of the city.

3.Section 9.1 of the Golden Charter stating that the city attorney shall advise the council and city officials in matters relating to their official powers and duties.

4.Section 1.01.040 of the Golden Municipal Code (GMC) which defines "shall" as mandatory.

5.A copy of correspondence from Evan Lipstein to City Council, dated April 21, 1998

6.A copy of correspondence from Steve Glueck to James Windholz, dated April 23, 1998

7.A copy of correspondence from Windholz & Associates to Evan Lipstein, dated May 7, 1998

8.A copy of Marian Olson’s remarks to city council on May 14, 1998

9.A copy of the Agenda Item Summary dated May 29, 1998

10.Chapter 18.12 Variances

11.A copy of Findings and Decisions passed June 18, 1998

12.A summary of all references to certificates of occupancy I have been able to find in code.

13.A copy of memorandum from Steve Glueck to City Council, through Michael Bestor, dated October 1, 1998

14.A copy of memorandum from Steve Glueck to City Council, through Michael Bestor, dated November 13, 1998

15.A copy of the Certificate of Occupancy, dated November 13, 1998

16.A copy of memo from Chuck Hearn, Planner, to Steve Glueck, dated November 16, 1998

17.A summary of some of the as-built conditions

An investigator should also review other materials such as:

The transcript of the hearing held June 11, 1998, and the transcript of the Special Meeting held June 18, 1998. This city has copies of these or Olson has copies.

The transcript of the court hearing held August 9-13, 23-25, 1999

The Golden Municipal Code and related documents

The Uniform Building Code of 1994

Copies of correspondence from Olson to Steve Glueck, Director of Planning, copies of which were provided to City Council

Copies of correspondence from Glueck to Olson

I have more information, documents and data that may be of interest to an investigator. I am available to provide this to you or an investigator.

Respectfully submitted,

Marian L. Olson

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