ICE agent in Colorado campaign flap placed on unpaid leave
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
DENVER” Supporters of a federal immigration agent accused of accessing restricted information for a political campaign said Monday he is being unfairly placed on unpaid leave as his trial approaches.
Cory Voorhis is accused of getting information from the National Crime Information Center database for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez in 2006.
Michael Riebau, a spokesman for Cory Legal Defense, said Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s move was “arbitrary and capricious” and suggested the action was retribution for Voorhis’ testimony at a hearing.
Voorhis had testified that his boss, Jeff Copp, demanded that Voorhis discuss the case with him even after Voorhis tried to invoke his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.
Copp had testified at the same hearing that he was recusing himself from any disciplinary action against Voorhis, prompting Riebau to question why Copp told Voorhis days later that he was suspended without pay.
“I think he (Copp) was humiliated and embarrassed, and I think this was revenge on Cory,” Riebau said.
The decision to place Voorhis on unpaid leave starting Wednesday was made by an ICE review board, which routinely handles internal cases, ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said in an e-mail.
The agency first told Voorhis last fall he would be placed on unpaid leave, and he appealed. He received a letter rejecting his appeal on Friday, four days after his court testimony.
Voorhis is accused of accessing the database in coordination with the Beauprez campaign to find information on plea deals offered to illegal immigrants under Bill Ritter, Beauprez’s Democratic opponent, when Ritter was Denver district attorney. Ritter defeated Beauprez in the race for governor.
Voorhis faces charges of intentionally exceeding authorized access to a computer and of obtaining information from a federal agency. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 4.
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