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Brighton Councilman Kris Jordinelli steps down amid probe of his interaction with police last summer

Besieged Brighton Councilman Kris Jordinelli, who is under investigation by the city for his interaction with police following an alleged drunk driving incident last summer, resigned Friday.

The city in a news release said the city council will determine next steps for filling Jordinelli’s Ward 3 seat, which he has held since January 2020.

Provided by the city of Brighton

Former Brighton City Councilman Kris Jordinelli

All of Jordinelli’s colleagues on council voted last week to hire a special prosecutor to investigate alleged statements he made to police after officers said they went to his house to question him about driving drunk to a council meeting on Aug. 17.

According to a police report obtained by The Denver Post this week, Jordinelli asked the officers if they knew who he was. After identifying himself as a councilman, the report states he told the officer: “You don’t want to mess with me.”

A city memo attached to the Nov. 22 meeting during which the probe was authorized by a unanimous vote of council, minus Jordinelli, stated “threats made to officers on scene could be considered an attempt to interfere with the performance of the officers’ responsibilities.”

“Attempting to use your city council position for personal gain or advantage could be considered a violation of the municipal code of ethics,” the memo said.

It’s not clear what happens with the investigation now that Jordinelli has resigned. City spokeswoman Kristen Chernosky said Friday the city council would have to decide how to proceed.

Earlier this week, Jordinelli said he was being targeted by one of his political opponents to “try to oust me from office.”

“I am sad to see how low others have gone to try and get rid of me just because we may not agree on political issues,” he said. “I look forward to being vindicated of this baseless charge in court.”

The 64-year-old former councilman still faces a misdemeanor DUI charge from the August incident. Police said surveillance footage shows Jordinelli parking askew in front of city hall minutes before being confronted by colleagues and law enforcement officers, who described him as disheveled and incoherent.

Jordinelli was censured by his colleagues last year following a virtual council meeting during which, appearing disoriented, he delivered a nonsensical rant. He blamed his behavior on being under the influence of alcohol and medication and apologized.