Citing a conflict of interest, the Denver District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that a special prosecutor has been appointed in wake of accusations that a Colorado state representative attempted to bring a gun through a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport.
The Boulder County Judicial District Attorney’s Office will now prosecute the case against State Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone).
Denver Police say Saine was arrested on Tuesday afternoon when a TSA agent running bags through an X-ray machine noticed a loaded 9mm handgun in her luggage.
The lawmaker was reportedly heading to a conference in Tennessee to be honored by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group, as the “Public Sector State Chair of the Year.”
Saine’s lawyer told 9NEWS that she forgot the gun was in her bag. She was one of only two people arrested this year following a report of a firearm at a TSA checkpoint – despite 106 cases, according to DPD.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann says she requested the special prosecutor because she and Saine were “fellow legislators in the Colorado General Assembly” and co-sponsored a felony DUI bill in 2015.
“Given her personal connection to Representative Saine, in the interest of justice and to ensure fair and impartial consideration of the matter, McCann determine the involvement of another district attorney’s office would be appropriate,” McCann’s office wrote in a news release.
This means DPD will present the case to the Boulder District Attorney’s Office at the conclusion of their investigation.
Saine was arrested for investigation of having a firearm at a public transportation facility – a felony.
She spent the night in jail and was released from custody after a judge granted her a $5,000 personal recognizance bond – which basically means if she misses her next court date, she’ll be held on a bond for that amount.
Saine is due back in court on Dec. 20 for a second advisement. This is when her charges are expected to be formally announced.
She is the minority caucus chair in the Colorado General Assembly, and has held her seat since 2013.
Saine, who works as a sales director, serves on the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, the Legislative Audit Committee and the Legislative Council.