Adams County Commissioner candidate Charles “Chaz” Tedesco is trying to regain some traction following a misstep last week in which he did not immediately disclose two past criminal charges during an on-camera interview.
During the CBS4 interview that aired on Oct. 18, Tedesco, a Democrat vying for the District 2 seat, was asked whether he had been arrested, jailed or had a criminal record.
Tedesco later admitted after about 10 minutes of questioning that he was arrested twice for drunk driving nearly 20 years ago — once in Northglenn in 1989 and another time in Federal Heights four years later.
Critics say that is not necessarily Tedesco’s drunk driving charges but a circuitous exchange of responses leading up to his confession that has put him in hot water.
Michelle Lyng, an Adams County Reform Project spokeswoman, questioned Tedesco’s fitness for office and said his reticence was an “attempt to cover up his police record” and “is nothing short of deliberate and willful.”
“Had he not lied, this wouldn’t be a story; however, Mr. Tedesco is exhibiting the very same lack of personal integrity that has branded Adams County among the most corrupt counties in America,” Lyng said in an e-mail. “Adams County residents deserve a commissioner who is forthright with the voters — certainly someone with far better judgment than Mr. Tedesco.”
Tedesco wrote in an e-mail that the interview came “at the end of a 14-hour day, in the last stretch of a yearlong campaign” and that he did not initially understand the interviewer’s questions or intentions.
“Perhaps due to my level of exhaustion, I responded with less grace than should have been afforded the situation,” Tedesco said. “I have admitted to my past, perhaps clumsily so, and I have been honest with the voters about who I am and what I believe. I remain committed to serving the people of Adams County with integrity and honesty. I would hope voters will not judge me based on the mistakes I made over 20 years ago, but hopefully they will make their decisions for this election based on the man they know me to be today.”
Eva Henry, a Democrat vying for the District 1 seat, said Tedesco had openly disclosed the offenses to the Adams County Democratic Party when he first decided to run for office earlier this year.
“The question just blindsided him,” Henry said. “Granted he should have been prepared and should have answered the question honestly, but he’s changed a lot, and I think we all have in the last 20 or 30 years. We have some really good people that are running and it was just an unfortunate incident.”