Skip to Content

Pueblo Mayor’s son charged with felony theft after year-long investigation, plea agreement expected

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The son of Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar has been charged with felony theft on September 7, one month after a 13 Investigates special report documented the year-long investigation into his conduct as the attorney for a southern Colorado couple.

Tony and Linda Nicholson claim Douglas Gradisar stole over $18,000 from them. That money was paid to a trust fund account in 2021, but the Nicholsons say no legal representation was given to them until their case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can never be re-filed, in early 2022.

Gradisar was representing the couple in a civil fraud case out of Trinidad, where the Nicholsons claimed they were being defrauded by multiple business associates. The couple said they had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into that business since 2016.

Tony traveled from northwest Trinidad to Pueblo in August 2022 to file a police report with the Pueblo Police Department. For the next year, the case was either being investigated by PPD or was being reviewed in the office of District Attorney Jeff Chostner.

On September 7, Gradisar was in court for a pending felony criminal mischief charge tied to allegations he destroyed the house he shared with his romantic partner. While in court for that case, Gradisar was served with a summons and felony complaint tied to the theft allegations made by the Nicholsons.

Mugshot from April 2022 arrest

Gradisar being served with a summons means he was not taken to jail and did not have to bond out of jail on the theft charges. Additionally, there is no arrest affidavit filed with the courts, which would typically allow the public access to information like timelines on the investigation, and the specific allegations Gradisar now faces. Gradisar did not have to take another mugshot but was ordered to submit to fingerprinting by District Judge William David Alexander.

13 Investigates asked the Pueblo Police Department for the arrest affidavit. We were denied access and were told to submit a records request to the department. We also asked District Attorney Jeff Chostner why there is no affidavit filed with the courts. He said an arrest affidavit wasn't filed because he was issued a summons, claiming that "the charge speaks for itself."

Chostner did say that issuing Gradisar a summons was the way they went because he was not considered a "flight risk," and they had been in continuous contact with his defense attorney, Adam Schultz.

13 Investigates asked Chostner for an interview on charging this case. He declined and said he would be willing to speak publicly on it once a "deal is done." What a potential plea deal in this case would look like is unclear at this time.

Douglas’ attorney, Adam Schultz, issued this statement to 13 Investigates in August:

"Mr. Gradisar has been battling a life threatening heart condition since 2019. The personal
and professional effect of that diagnosis have been devastating. There is nothing newsworthy
about the allegations that Mr. Gradisar is facing or his challenges since his diagnosis.
Nonetheless, Mr. Gradisar’s affairs have been cast into the public eye by those who, for their
own motives, speculate that his father as Mayor has somehow influenced Mr. Gradisar’s legal
process. Such speculation is unfortunate, inaccurate, and ill informed. There is no evidence to
suggest that Mr. Gradisar has experienced favorable treatment in connection with any of the

Attorney for Douglas Gradisar

Tony told 13 Investigates the couple has a meeting with the 10th Judicial District Attorney's office on September 26 to discuss the case. Gradisar's next scheduled hearing is on October 19. That hearing is labeled a "plea and sentencing hearing" on the Pueblo County court dockets.

Do you have a tip you want 13 investigates to look into? Email us at

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content