Mulcahy motion argues that he should keep home
Lee Mulcahy is asking a judge to reconsider a court order forcing the activist to sell his deed-restricted home.
The outspoken Aspen resident filed a motion last week contending that Pitkin County District Court Judge Chris Seldin’s ruling was erroneous for a number of reasons. The motion seeks to have Seldin vacate his June 3 order and issue a summary judgment in Mulcahy’s favor.
Mulcahy’s motion argues that he has met the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority’s requirements that he work 1,500 hours a year in the county to qualify for ownership of his Burlingame Ranch home.
Mulcahy bought a vacant lot, located at 0053 Forge Road, in October 2006. Serving as general contractor, Mulcahy spent the past five years building the single-family residence. He obtained a certificate of occupancy March 1.
But his living situation became clouded by a lawsuit filed by the housing authority in December. The suit, which came after the authority asked Mulcahy in July 2015 to prove his eligibility, successfully sought a court judgment ordering him to sell the home.
Mulcahy’s motion, however, contends he has worked full time as an artist and at other jobs. Additionally, he wasn’t in Aspen to address the housing authority’s concerns because he was doing aid work in Africa both this year and last. A Texas church pastor’s letter, which explains the necessity of Mulcahy’s work in Africa, is an exhibit to his motion.
Seldin’s order noted Mulcahy was in Africa while he could have addressed the housing authority’s proof of eligibility requests last year as well as the ensuing litigation.
“Mulcahy evidently decided to travel to Africa where it was not possible to reach him,” Seldin’s order said. “Mulcahy cannot lay the consequences of this choice at (the housing authority’s) door.”
Mulcahy’s motion says that in addition to being an artist, he currently drives a cab and is a substitute teacher.
“Again, throughout the pleadings, what Mr. Mulcahy has admitted is that having worked the same two part-time jobs for nearly six years, in addition to creating, marketing and exhibiting art, he had no idea that his part-time jobs did not qualify for compliance with the employment requirement until informed by (the housing authority) in the summer of 2015,” the motion says.
Mulcahy once had a full-time job as a ski instructor with Aspen Skiing Co., which fired him Feb. 1, 2011. Skico said it was for performance issues; Mulcahy said it was because he was outspoken about low pay.
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Multiple efforts have popped up to keep the region’s Latino population informed about the coronavirus crisis and economic aid available for unemployed workers. A special Facebook public group called Coronavirus Aspen 2 Parachute Community Help provides answers to frequently asked questions and directs people to aid.