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13 Investigates: 2020 in review

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Ripped off by scammers? Getting run around from state officials? Concerned about corruption in your community?

The people of Southern Colorado come to our team at 13 Investigates when they need help.

We're taking a look back at some of the stories from 2020 that made a difference in our community.

FBI LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO ACCUSED TIMESHARE COMPANY

In February, the FBI launched an investigation into two Colorado-based timeshare companies accused of fraud. The ongoing federal probe came after 13 Investigates revealed two consumers lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Boulder-based company with a convincing offer to sell weeks of the timeshares.

DECKS R US CONTRACTORS ARRESTED

Two deck contractors at the center of a months-long investigation by 13 Investigates were arrested on felony theft charges in August.

“With the assistance of KRDO’s investigation and obviously Colorado Springs Police Department, two arrest warrants have been issued," 4th Judicial District Senior Deputy District Attorney Andrew Vaughan previously said.

Kevin McGee and Ken Peterson lost their contracting licenses after being accused of swindling dozens of families out of tens of thousands of dollars. The pair faces up to nine year in prison, if convicted.

CHANGES TO PUEBLO'S ETHICS RULES

13 Investigates dug into an ethics complaint against Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar over the summer. The complaint was related to Mayor Gradisar's handling of COVID-19 relief money to two businesses he had alleged conflict of interest with. Our investigation exposed a city procedure that required only the city council president to determine if an ethics complaint warranted action. After our story aired, the Pueblo City Council voted to change the rules, allowing all council members to be involved in ethics complaints against city employees and elected officials.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY INVESTIGATES CONTRACTOR

"This was our life savings," Steve Dunn said. "It was a blanket of deceit that I am having a hard time crawling out from under."

Our team stepped in when a disabled Pueblo County veteran was living in a construction zone, out his life saving after paying a contractor to build a handicap addition to his home. The addition was never completed.

Our investigation caught the attention of the Pueblo District Attorney, who is now looking into the matter.

UNEMPLOYMENT ACCOUNTS FIXED AFTER ERROR

A system error at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment resulted in thousands of Coloradans not getting unemployment checks.

"I see your story pop up and I'm like … Oh my gosh .. this is me. I'm not the only one,  something's wrong," Teresa Fager said.

13 Investigates stories on the problem prompted the state labor department to fix the issue for several people in less than a week.

Some of those impacted told us the correction helped them keep a roof over their heads and provide another meal for their families.

13 Investigates -- prompting the change of laws, holding those accused of wrongdoing accountable and exposing failing systems to make a difference in the lives of others.

If you have an issue you want our team to help with, email us at 13Investigates@krdo.com.




Investigations / Local News

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

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