Slow to boil in public, Teller County commission chair Jim Ignatius erupted in anger at the commissioners' meeting Nov. 21.
He started with a simmer, reading from a report on the November election by Al Davidson, manager of elections in Teller County and representative of the Secretary of State.
Davidson was hired after the Secretary, Scott Gessler, mandated that Teller County's clerk and recorder J.J. Jamison be removed from the election process because she wasn't meeting her election responsibilities.
“We have had no complaints from voters, the (political) parties or other government agencies,” states the report read by Ignatius. “I also want to mention the tremendous effort given to us by our three lead judges, Rich McKee in Cripple Creek, Rip Blaisdell in Woodland Park and Catherine DiMauro in Divide. I want to also recognize the other 63 judges and 21 student judges who attended training and performed so well on election day.”
But Davidson issued a note of caution. “The fate of future elections is in good hands with Krystal Brown and Stephanie Fisher, as long as they are allowed to do what is necessary to conduct successful elections,” the report states.
Still burned over the snafus that happened during the June primary, Ignatius boiled over.
“This man is a class act; without him, I think we would have had an absolutely devastating outcome,” said Ignatius, speaking to Jamison. “I have mixed emotions; as proud as I am about this thing, I am so stinking disappointed in you it blows me away. Your constant lying, your inability to perform your job, I mean it just absolutely blows me away.
“Everything you touched throughout this process, whether it was this report or the other two reports you denied, did not serve the people of this county the way you should have. And it's very disappointing. Thank God for Al Davidson, I hope you don't chase away your other stellar employees. You have staff that does amazing stuff, so treat `em well, would you?”
Jamison did not respond to the criticism while continuing to record the meeting.
Several days after the meeting, Ignatius offered several examples of Jamison's public denials.
“She said publicly that she was `blindsided' by the Secretary's report. The Secretary told us he had been working with the clerk's office for 18 months prior to the June 26 primary,” Ignatius said.
As well, Jamison said she asked for help from the Secretary's office, Ignatius said. “We were ordered, mandated, by the Secretary to hire Al (Davidson) and Deb (Silva),” Ignatius said.
As far as the missing signature line, Jamison blamed the vendor in a letter to the editor, Ignatius said, referring to Jamison's letter published in the Aug. 29 edition of the Courier View newspaper. “The missing line was 100 percent her responsibility.”
Contacted by email, Jamison replied that she had been advised to offer no comment.
Ignatius vowed to have more evidence at the commissioners' meeting Dec. 6.