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Truth Check: Anti-Polis PAC misleads with 1999 police incident

DENVER -- The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and their commercials in the 2018 midterms. Every advertisement that claims something -- we will research and determine if the candidates are actually telling the truth.

You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here and you can read our criteria and standards here.

The latest Truth Check involves the an attack on Jared Polis, the Democratic nominee for Governor.

The commercial is from a PAC, Colorado Citizens for Truth. The PAC was only established on October 9th. It is so new donors haven't been revealed yet however its mission on the Secretary of State's Website is "to oppose Jared Polis."

CLAIM #1 

Polis trapped a female employee in his office, pushed her, and stopped her from calling 911

Exact quote in ad: "An angry CEO confronts a departing female employee and traps her in his office. Scared she tried to call 911 but the CEO forcibly hung up the phone -- pushing her into a cabinet."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: The commercial only takes into account the version of events of Patricia Hughes.

It is true Polis was involved in an altercation with his female employee Ms. Hughes on June 22 1999. The commercial fails to mention that Hughes was convicted of stealing property from Polis that evening. Polis was never charged with a crime. In fact the supplemental police report says "Ms. Hughes did knowingly and unlawfully take several files with original and sensitive documents from the offices of JPS international with the intent to deprive the business of these items permanently."

Read the police reports here: 

Polis says Hughes hit him. Hughes died in 2014 and is no longer able to speak to the claims.

CLAIM #2 

Courts imposed a restraining order on Polis and big lawyers stopped it 

Exact quote in ad: "Courts imposed a restraining order but the CEOs big gun lawyers put the blame on her"

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: The Boulder District Attorney tells the Truth Check that within three weeks a judge ordered the restraining order vacated and that it was only issued in the first place because "temporary restraining orders are almost universally granted until a hearing takes place." At the hearing there was no evidence to proceed. Polis was never charged with a crime according to the DA.

CLAIM #3 

Polis changed his name because of these events

Exact quote in ad: "There is no good reason to assault a woman - the CEO's name back then Jared P Schutz. But you know him as Jared Polis. Polis can change his name but he can't change his past."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: It is true Polis changed his name 11 months after the event from Jared Schutz to Jared Polis. 

However to suggest it was because of this incident is an attempt to connect dots that do not factually exist. Polis has repeatedly said he changed his name to honor his mother's maiden name.

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