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December 12, 2012
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Trespassing charge against Mulcahy dropped

ASPEN - A prosecutor on Tuesday threw out a charge against a former ski instructor accused of trespassing on Aspen Skiing Co. property.

Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin's decision not to pursue the misdemeanor offense means that Mulcahy won't go to a jury trial, which a judge had previously indicated would be set for February. Mulcahy pleaded not guilty in July.

"I didn't feel this case was worth the effort or the expense of this community," Nedlin said.

In February, a Pitkin County sheriff's deputy cited Mulcahy for trespassing after he taped a court notice on the outside of a door to Aspen Skiing Co.'s corporate offices at the Aspen Business Center. Skico fired Mulcahy and banned him from company property in February 2011.

Mulcahy, however, has maintained he was trying to deliver a revised court summons for a lawsuit he filed against Jim and Paula Crown, members of the family that owns Skico. The lawsuit was initially filed in Pitkin County District Court. It was refiled in Pitkin County Court. Once it was refiled, Mulcahy was obligated to inform the Crowns.

Nedlin said he believed the "facts that of which he was charged had merit. But to pursue a two-day trial for something that would maybe lead to a petty-offense conviction was not in the best interest of this community."

"And taking this case to trial would perpetuate Lee Mulcahy's relevance, which he has wanted the whole time."

Mulcahy was not available for immediate comment.

With the trespassing charge now gone, he has another lingering court issue.

He is scheduled to appear Wednesday in Pitkin County Court, where the Aspen Institute will try to convince Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely to enforce a protection order prohibiting Mulcahy from stepping on its grounds. The protection order stems from a message Mulcahy posted on Facebook concerning the institute.

Last month, Fernandez-Ely declined Skico's request for a protection order that would have forbidden Mulcahy from being within 100 yards of company property as well as the residences of CEO Mike Kaplan and the Aspen homes belonging to members of the Crown family.

Skico said that some company employees felt threatened and harassed by some of Mulcahy's handwritten signs, with such messages as "Dear CEOs Be Fair Remember the Alamo."

Fernandez-Ely rejected the restraining order because she said that Mulcahy has a right to free speech, and his messages did not pose an imminent threat to the firm's employees. However, as part of the agreement, she instructed Mulcahy not to be abrasive toward Skico with what he has referred to as "artwork."

rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Dec 12, 2012 06:08AM Published Dec 12, 2012 01:58AM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.