Broomfield’s high-stakes city government races have been turned upside down by revelations about one candidate’s arrest history — including charges of soliciting prostitution — and other questions about his past.
Kevin Kreeger, a city councilman who is running for mayor, has been abandoned by several of the candidates he was running alongside on a platform seeking to limit hydraulic fracturing in Broomfield.
The oil and gas debate serving as a backdrop for the campaign was fueling a tense battle to begin with. Broomfield has been ground zero for Colorado’s drilling wars, with people pushing back as the industry taps into oil and gas under fast-growing residential areas on the northeast side of the city.
Kreeger, 48, has been on Broomfield’s City Council since 2015. He declined Colorado Sun requests for an interview, but said in an email that the attacks are coming now as a result of his work to limit fracking. He also vowed to stay in the race.
“During my time in office, one of the things I have tackled head on is moving fracking away from homes and schools and out of our open spaces,” he wrote to The Sun. “During that time a private investigator and huge Washington, D.C., firm were hired to apparently get rid of me by digging up dirt.”
He added: “I do have mistakes in my past. Things I’m extremely embarrassed of and also feel remorse about. But the reason it’s being used now is because for the last four years I’ve fought an outside invasion of our city and county. Now people will decide if they care more about the corruption that’s on council now, or more about my past mistakes.”
Kreeger’s campaign manager quit last week, as did his paid political consultant, who continues working to elect the slate five of candidates pushing for more local control over oil and gas drilling. Meanwhile, some of the local-control candidates have publicly distanced themselves from Kreeger.
Five of Broomfield’s 10 council seats are up for election. Kreeger is one of three people running for mayor.
“In light of recent revelations, I encourage Kevin Kreeger to suspend his campaign for mayor of the city and county of Broomfield,” Broomfield City Council candidate William Lindstedt, who is part of the slate pushing for more local control over drilling, wrote on Facebook. “This may be shocking to members of our community and it is a huge disappointment to the majority of Broomfield residents that would like to see a progressive voice in the mayor’s office.”
City Council candidate Heidi Henkel, another member of the local-control slate, said she hoped the revelations would not distract candidates from their mission, but wrote in a message on her candidate Facebook page that she was blindsided by Kreeger’s “unethical behavior. … I have to take several steps away and continue on my own course.”
Sharon Tessier, a current Broomfield city councilwoman who has worked with Kreeger, echoed the sentiment, writing in a Facebook post that he lacks “the characteristics of an ethical, moral leader who would put the interests of Broomfield before his own.”
Kreeger addressed his history in a letter to supporters sent just before 1 a.m. on Wednesday. “Like most of us, I have made mistakes in life,” he wrote, apparently acknowledging the solicitation charge and calling it something “stupid” that he did in his 20s.
He also referenced a “second attack” against him that he said stems from a “file that was sealed by the court to protect my reputation.” Kreeger did not elaborate on the nature of the allegation and did not respond to emailed questions from The Sun asking him to explain what happened.
“The innuendo is that a sealed file must be bad, when in reality it was sealed because I was the victim of a false and defamatory accusation,” he wrote in his letter to supporters. “The rumors then grew into insinuations that the allegation was not only true, it was even more extreme. As of the sending of this email, the latest iteration is that it’s not only true and more extreme, and also just happened. I have no idea where it will go next.”
He added: “The only truth here is that there was an instance of marital infidelity. … Some of you might be shocked or hurt by this admission of infidelity. I certainly regret my actions and also regret if in any way it changes how you think of me.”
The Colorado Business Daily, an online publication that is part of a national network of websites linked to conservative backers, first reported that Kreeger was accused in 1994 of injuring a police officer during an altercation. It also found that he was convicted of soliciting a prostitute in 1996.
Kreeger did not take up an offer from The Sun for him to discuss the Chicago arrests.
“The last few days have been very difficult,” Kreeger wrote to his supporters. “Having my most embarrassing moments publicized has been more than painful. Prior to this public shaming, my wife, my parents, and one sibling knew. Now it will be everyone.”
A Colorado Sun search of Colorado criminal records and Kreeger’s name did not return any public results.
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Kreeger is vowing to stay in the race and wrote in a statement released Sunday that he has “fixed my life, straightened myself out, have a great family and have focused on leading a good life.”
“To me, public service is part of my redemption,” he added. “… Today, I stand before you, wanting to be an example of what people can overcome and to give hope to anyone out there who may be trying to reshape their lives. I don’t believe the only people who should be allowed in government are people who have never made mistakes.”
That’s because under Senate Bill 181, Democrats’ oil and gas regulation rewrite passed during the 2019 Colorado legislative session, local governments now have more ability to regulate the industry. The change in policy shifted mounds of money and attention to local elections.