DENVER -- A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for Colorado says the 2013 assassination of Colorado Prison Chief Tom Clements was a hit job ordered by a white supremacist gang that prosecutors refused to prosecute.
The suit was filed by Juan San Agustin, the former chief inspector for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, who led the department's investigation into the high-profile murder of Clements. San Agustin's lawsuit targets El Paso County District Attorney Dan May, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement members for violating San Agustin's civil rights.
Clements was murdered by Evan Ebel, a member of the 211 Crew, a white supremacist prison gang. San Agustin claims leaders of the 211 Crew ordered Ebel to murder Clements. It's a theory shared by the Texas Rangers who released their own investigative report after Texas law enforcement killed Ebel in a shootout.
San Agustin's lawsuit says El Paso County DA May refused to go after 211 leaders because he feared them. The lawsuit alleges May learned in 2013 he had been the target of a 211 assassination gone wrong in 2008. Instead of killing May, San Agustin's federal complaint says a 211 hit man mistakenly killed Adams County Prosecutor Sean May instead.
Just months after San Agustin went public in 2016 with his belief the Clements murder was an organized hit, he found himself the focus of a grand jury investigation conducted by the 18th Judicial District Attorney's office, led by George Brauchler.
San Agustin says DA May and Sheriff Bill Elder (who was elected in 2014 when San Agustin left the department) conspired with Brauchler's office to pursue bogus charges of kidnapping and false imprisonment concerning a female deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
In 2017, the charges against San Agustin were dismissed but the former chief inspector says his reputation was tarnished.
His lawsuit seeks more than $10 million in damages.
Neither May, Elder nor a spokesperson with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation responded to FOX31's request for comment. George Brauchler, who's now running for attorney general as the Republican nominee, emailed a statement to FOX31:
“It’s a sad fact of life that prosecutors are often sued for doing their jobs by persons who don’t like the fact that they were prosecuted. Such lawsuits are almost always legally frivolous and quickly dismissed by the courts. Anyone can file a lawsuit alleging anything they want. This lawsuit has no basis in fact or law. Once we are served with it, we will file a motion to dismiss, which we anticipate will be granted quickly by the court."