PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert 'Bo' Ortiz is defending his actions after he was recorded swearing and flipping off a man at the Pueblo County Courthouse. Since the incident, the video has been shared and viewed thousands of times on social media.
In the video, Ortiz is seen walking his dog on the front lawn of the Courthouse Monday. At some point in the video, he screams an explicit message to the man recording him.
"Hi! Go f*** yourself!" yelled Ortiz, flashing his middle finger. Later inside the courthouse, Ortiz proceeds to call the man behind the camera a stalker.
The man filming Ortiz is Luke Wodiuk, the owner of a vehicle dealership in Pueblo. Wodiuk claims he was at the County Clerk's Office on Monday for business when he spotted Ortiz walking his dog.
Wodiuk also says he has had separate run-ins with the Pueblo County Clerk in the past.
"There are huge long lines (in the County Clerk's Office), and (Ortiz) can't retain staff," said Wodiuk. "He's just hanging out with his dog taking it for a walk and I just happen to say you know what let's capture this. Let's show the public why you can't get plates and who your Pueblo County Clerk is."
Ortiz did not want to speak on camera, however, he told 13 Investigates the County Clerk's Office has been under a lot of scrutinies in recent months.
Ortiz says he normally welcomes an open dialogue with constituents, but the situation has gotten out of hand.
For the past several months, myself and my office have been under intense scrutiny. While normally I welcome an open dialogue with constituents, the situation has evolved over the past few weeks. I have been threatened, harassed, and stalked. People have posted videos and photos of both myself and my vehicle. It has gotten to the point where I am afraid for my safety and that of my family. I am receiving threatening calls and emails, and being followed by people whose only intent is to get a reaction from me. While my reaction yesterday may have been ill advised, it was provoked. Anyone would react poorly when faced with the same scenario. I apologize if I offended anyone with my reaction, but I stand by the fact that I should be able to work and live free from fear and harassment.Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz
Also, Ortiz says Wodiuk is required to have security with him while inside the courthouse. The policy was issued by County Commissioners for Wodiuk allegedly making inappropriate comments to the staff.
Wodiuk claims he was told by staff that if he were to record Ortiz again he would be escorted off the Pueblo County Courthouse grounds. Wodiuk is adamant that he never stalked or harassed the Pueblo County Clerk.
"I have never stalked Gilbert Ortiz ever. I have to come here once a week," said Wodiuk. "So I see him goofing off, and I document it. I never follow him around or harass him."
Ortiz says he has contacted the Pueblo County Sheriff and District Attorney in Pueblo County regarding the stalking and harassment allegations involving a few different people.
In the video, Wodiuk is seen pointing at a sign saying "Service Dogs Only" as Ortiz brings his dog, which Ortiz previously says is not a service dog, inside the courthouse.
However, Pueblo County tells 13 Investigates there is no policy regarding dogs inside the courthouse. The "Service Dogs Only" signs are meant to dissuade people from bringing animals inside the building. 13 Investigates has learned the County Attorneys are writing up a new policy.
In regards to long waits for service at the County Clerk's Office, Ortiz says new hires have expedited the process.
For the full video, watch below:
VIRAL VIDEO -- Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert Ortiz caught on camera swearing and flipping the bird to man recording him while he walks his dog in front of the Pueblo County Courthouse. Full story with perspectives from both Ortiz and the cameraman here: https://t.co/QOwvUNd9M5 pic.twitter.com/wpPdnG0b4j— Dan Beedie KRDO (@BeedieonTV) October 13, 2021