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Back to 1999 Headlines

9/26/1999

DA 'tired of allegati

by B.J.Plasket
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER District Attorney Alex Hunter is quickly losing patience with questions about his office and leaks in the Ramsey investigation.

"I am tired of these allegations," an angry Hunter said on Wednesday. "We leak nothing."

Hunter added he is offended by such questions.

Although he has faced similar questions and was accused by former Detective Steve Thomas of leaking information since the beginning of the investigation, the questions became more pointed early this year with the publication of Lawrence Schiller's "Perfect Murder , Perfect Town."

Although the book contained word-for-word copies of internal memos and a blow-by-blow description of the highly secret two-day meeting between police and prosecutors in June 1998, Hunter at first refused to speak to it.

In August, however, he claimed "most" of the book's contents are wrong, adding that the documents may have been taken by "janitors or burglars."

He also insisted no one in his office could have been the source of the leaks.

Last week, however, the grand jury's secret meeting schedule appeared in a Denver newspaper along with a purported list of the witnesses who had already appeared before the grand jury.

And while dozens of reporters waited in the hall Thursday during the grand jury's first meeting in four months, Assistant District Attorney Bill Wise was in the Justice Center's coffee shop meeting with Denver Rocky Mountain News reporter Charlie Brennan, who wrote the grand jury articles earlier in the week.

Brennan also conducted much of the research for Schiller's book.

Hunter became visibly angry when asked about the Wise-Brennan meeting.

"It's a free country, isn't it?" he snapped.

When asked if the meeting concerned him, Hunter didn't answer and walked away.

Wise and Brennan had a similar coffee-shop meeting on May 19, the day of the next-to-last grand jury meeting before the four-month break.

As of Friday afternoon, Hunter had not seen a list of additional questions submitted Thursday by the Daily Times-Call. Media liaison Suzanne Laurion said she had not yet delivered the questions, but said she doubted Hunter would answer them.

Hunter in August said he realizes the Wise-Brennan relationship "(angers) a lot of (media) people," but defended his staff.

Under Colorado law, prosecutors are prohibited from commenting on grand jury proceedings. Hunter has said the prohibition precludes prosecutors from revealing information about the grand jury's schedule or its witnesses.