Englewood City Councilmember Laurett Barrentine is set to proceed to trial in April following an alleged August incident at Englewood's city hall for which she was cited on charges of harassment and …
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Englewood City Councilmember Laurett Barrentine is set to proceed to trial in April following an alleged August incident at Englewood's city hall for which she was cited on charges of harassment and disorderly conduct.
The case “is tainted with a bunch of accusations, not the reality of what happened,” Barrentine said by phone Jan. 15.
She appeared in Arapahoe County Court Jan. 14, where she pleaded “not guilty” to both charges. The jury trial is slated for April 17, and a motions hearing is scheduled for March 12.
The incident reportedly happened about 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 27 at the Englewood Civic Center, according to Barrentine's court summons, which was released by the Englewood Police Department in response to a records request by the Englewood Herald. The city council held a study session — a public meeting — that night at the civic center, beginning at 6 p.m., according to the agenda. The meeting ran about 4 1/2 hours, according to the meeting video.
Details surrounding Barrentine's suspected violations are scant because the police report in the case is considered evidence and not available for release to the public while the case is open, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. In a felony case, details would be available in an affidavit, or a document stating the basis for an arrest, but Barrentine's cited violations would be petty offenses or misdemeanors, according to the summons.
Englewood police were not able to release any further information due to the case being turned over to the DA's office, said Investigator Scot Allen, police spokesman, in October.
Barrentine offered some comments on the alleged incident Jan. 15.
“I guess it's gotta go to court for the truth to come out,” Barrentine said. “Nothing happened. I was just doing my job. Everybody just needs to do their job.”
What led up to case
During the Aug. 27 city council meeting, Barrentine asked if records of an earlier executive session of the council — a closed-door meeting often used to discuss matters the city deems to require confidentiality — had been destroyed. A voice that appears to be that of City Clerk Stephanie Carlile, not pictured in the recording of the Aug. 27 meeting, can be heard telling Barrentine that records are destroyed every 90 days. Some conversation between Barrentine and Carlile is audible.
Barrentine said during the Aug. 27 meeting that the executive session may have been improper and that she asked for the executive-session records not to be destroyed. The City Clerk's Office said in October that the meeting Barrentine referred to occurred May 7.
The clerk's office said a single councilmember's complaint about an executive session isn't enough for the clerk to treat a certain session differently, referring to state statute 24-72-204 (5.5) (a).
In a September interview, former City Manager Eric Keck, who stepped down Oct. 5, said he was told about a confrontation involving Barrentine and Carlile.
“I had left the meeting at that time,” Keck said. “I was told by another employee I needed to go back (downstairs) … clearly, the clerk had been visibly shaken.”
Carlile did not respond to a phone call seeking comment in October.
Mayor Linda Olson said in October that she could not answer questions on the incident and whether it stemmed from Barrentine accusing Carlile of improperly destroying records of an executive session from May.
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