Housing office gripe: Mulcahy not full-time | AspenTimes.com

Housing office gripe: Mulcahy not full-time

Lee Mulcahy

Aspen activist Lee Mulcahy has stayed busy over the years with political campaigns, volunteer work, performance art, Occupy Aspen movements and other public missions. But according to the local housing authority, he hasn't held down a full-time job, which makes him ineligible to own employee housing in Aspen.

On Wednesday, the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority filed a legal complaint in county court asking a judge to order Mulcahy to put up his Burlingame home for sale.

The authority's complaint contends Mulcahy has violated the government's employee-housing rules because he has failed to provide it with documentation showing he works 1,500 hours a year in Pitkin County, a requirement to own affordable housing.

Mulcahy said Wednesday he doesn't live at the home, which doesn't have a certificate of occupancy, and rents a place at the Aspen Business Center. He said he expects to have the certificate in place by the end of the month.

In a 478-word statement provided to Aspen's two daily newspapers, Mulcahy said finding work has been difficult because Aspen Skiing Co., where he once was a ski instructor, has banned him from all of its properties.

"The issues with Skico's ongoing ban from the Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, Buttermilk ski areas including public lands, the Little Nell, the Limelight, Ajax Tavern, Aspen Basalt Trailer Park, all Four Mountain Sports, etc., … has made it difficult to secure full-time employment in Aspen," Mulcahy's statement read. "Therefore, I have been working wherever I could, as well as doing all the labor on my house."

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Mulachy, who said he worked as a security guard at a luxury jewelry store before being fired, also said he has looked for other work with little success.

"Since then, I have applied to hundreds of jobs with no success; however, I have secured employment in Aspen as a driver and part-time snow shoveling," Mulcahy said, contending that he was fired from his security gig after a member of the Crown family, which owns Skico, visited the store.

"It's ironic that my employment was terminated within days of a visit to the tiny store by a member of the Crown family," his statement said.

Housing authority attorney Thomas Smith said the onus now is on Mulcahy to answer the complaint or put his house up for sale.

"I know he's talked to (the housing authority) staff, but they haven't had any success," Smith said. "What they need is compliance, so it was referred to me. They want to handle this with the judicial system at this point."

rcarroll@aspentimes.com