A two-decades-old police report details an altercation between Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis and his former personal assistant, as he attempted to prevent her from leaving his office with stolen documents.
In the police narrative, Polis said he pushed Patricia Hughes, at the same time that she was hitting him with a bag. The police report from June 23, 1999, was first written about in the conservative outlet The Washington Free Beacon. Polis is listed as the victim on the report. Hughes was charged and pled guilty to stealing trade secrets after police found company contracts in her bags.
The police report was filed under the name Jared Polis Schutz. The following year Polis changed his legal name. The events occurred before he entered politics, when he owned a company called JPS International LLC.
“Mr. Schutz later told me that the ‘sensitive documents’ were actually original contracts for several of the companies he works with,” Boulder police officer J. Aguilar wrote in his report. “The contracts varied in value from $25,000 to $75,000.”
Polis told the police officer that he drove to his office to make sure Hughes wasn't taking files. She had recently resigned and allegedly stated that she had information “to go after him” if her exit from the company didn't go smoothly. Polis said when he arrived Hughes was sitting at the computer deleting files and had bags with files sitting in the hall and in the office. He said she wouldn't let him search her bags and so he called the police.
“After hanging up with the dispatcher, Ms. Hughes attempted to leave the office,” the report states. “Mr. Schutz physically blocked the door to prevent her from leaving. She moved toward him again, this time hitting him with one of her bags. Mr. Schutz then put both of his hands on her shoulders and pushed her back to prevent her from leaving.”
In her statement to officers, Hughes said at that point she attempted to call police three times, but alleges that Polis hung up the phone twice.
Officer Aguilar noted seeing some marks on Hughes.
“I did observe two bruise marks on Ms. Hughes left inside bicep and a red welt on her right thigh. She stated that the bruises on her arm were from Mr. Schutz “grabbing” her with his right hand. The bruises were not conducive with Mr. Schutz’s statement that he pushed her shoulders. Nor were they conducive with Ms. Hughes’s statement of Mr. Schutz standing in front of her and grabbing her.”
The report goes on: “The welt on her thigh she said was from Mr. Schutz pushing her back when she attempted to leave. The welt was conducive with a file cabinet in front of the door. There was also a key protruding from the upper right hand corner of the cabinet that could have produced the welt.”
Hughes was granted a temporary restraining order after the incident but it was vacated a few weeks later and her request for a permanent restraining order was denied. She received an 18-month deferred sentence for the incident and was ordered to return the documents, undergo mental health treatment and avoid contact with Polis. She died several years ago.
On Tuesday, Stapleton’s campaign issued a statement: “Violence against women is never acceptable and Jared Polis needs to take responsibility for his actions."
The Polis campaign had its own response.
“Jared Polis was the victim of a crime, was the person who called the police, and was found to have done nothing wrong. Shame on Walker Stapleton for trying to exploit that,” stated Lisa Kaufmann, Polis for Colorado Campaign chair.