I recently saw an ad for Democrat DA candidate Amy Padden that said she’s an “experienced prosecutor” and has cross-examined terrorists. As a candidate for DA, I thought that sounded pretty impressive. Some basic research quickly showed Ms. Padden isn’t being transparent about her record when she says these things.
On her website she proudly proclaims she has “taken on terrorists like Terry Nichols (Oklahoma City) and the 1993 World Trade Center bombers.” Again, impressive sounding, but not true. I looked at the federal filing system called PACER (open to the public) where you can see what attorneys have done on these cases. Ms. Padden didn’t criminally prosecute any of these terrorists. Her only role in the Nichols case was to file a motion a few years ago – about 20 years after his criminal trial – agreeing to pay him our taxpayer dollars instead of returning his guns seized by the FBI. No cross-examination at all. Not even an in-court appearance.
As for the WTC bombing, she didn’t prosecute that case either. One of the defendants, Ahmad Ajaj, filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons in 2015 alleging his religious rights were being violated. Ms. Padden’s role in the case was to defend the prison and she moved to dismiss his claims. The judge denied parts of her motion and according to the Denver Post, Ajaj later went on to win his case at trial.
This is not “taking on” terrorists. It’s not “prosecution” in any way at all. In fact, I could not find a single federal criminal prosecution by her. Her job at the US Attorney’s Office was to defend the government against claims of abuse, often asking the judge to dismiss cases because of qualified immunity – the very doctrine our state’s legislature recently did away with.
Amy Padden’s website and ads are purposefully misleading about her actual record. I dug a little deeper and found that Ms. Padden only became a state prosecutor when she started running for office last year. She’s literally been running for DA longer than she’s been one. Her actual record as a state prosecutor? Again, from public databases: 1) a DUI trial she lost; 2) a DUI trial she got a conviction for Driving While Impaired but received a not guilty verdict on the higher DUI charge; and 3) a burglary trial that she lost. That’s it. She has never tried and won a felony trial.
Ms. Padden talks a lot about bringing more transparency to the DA’s office. Her ads and website, however, demonstrate she’s not being transparent with us as voters. We should demand more from someone we want to run the District Attorney’s office. Voters deserve to know the truth.
Links to supporting claims