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Commissioners, Congrove face civil trial in harassment case

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By AJ Vicens

County Commissioner Jim Congrove and the Board of County Commissioners face a civil trial in September in a case brought by a woman claiming Congrove harassed her and got her fired from her job.

Lori Stille, a former employee with Chase Bank, alleges that Congrove harassed her and her daughter, and tried to get her fired from the bank in retaliation for helping longtime county critic and onetime boyfriend Mike Zinna in a civil lawsuit he filed against Congrove several years ago.

In that case, Zinna alleged Congrove was involved in forged loan documents for a truck and a rental agreement for a property Congrove owned. Zinna turned both documents over to the Arvada police, who turned the case over to a grand jury that failed to reach a decision in the case.

The current civil case is scheduled for a four-day trial starting Sept. 2. Stille alleges that Congrove sought retribution against Stille by harassing her and her daughter, and trying to pressure then-county treasurer Mark Paschall to pressure the bank to fire Stille. Paschall denied that he tried to get Stille fired.

"She doesn't have any evidence for what she's alleging," said Ellen Wakeman, Jeffco's acting county attorney. Wakeman said that motions for summary judgment have been filed by the county and by Congrove in recent weeks, and the judge in the case has yet to rule on them. If granted, the case would be dismissed. "We're hoping this will be dismissed and we won't go to trial," Wakeman said.

As of June 30, the case is set for trial, according to the Jefferson County District Court clerk's office.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.