Monday, March 25, 2013
Colorado Governor Long-Time Friends With Killer's Father
In a very odd twist in the shocking and brazen shooting death of Colorado's Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements this past week allegedly committed by a white supremacist and former inmate of a state prison, a local NBC affiliate in Denver is reporting that the alleged killer's father is a long-time friend and campaign supporter of the man who hired Clements, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). Former inmate Evan Ebel, who was shot and killed during a police chase in Texas days after the shooting, is the son of Jack Ebel, a lawyer who has been friends of Gov. Hickenlooper for more than 30 years.
In a press conference Gov. Hickenlooper held shortly after Clements' death, the governor talked about efforts he was undertaking to reduce the amount of time inmates spend in solitary confinement. Hickenlooper recalled conversations he had with his long-time friend about the lengthy period of time Ebel's son had spent in solitary confinement after going "on the wrong track" and getting arrested. Although he didn't reference Ebel by name at the time, the governor later confirmed that was who he was speaking of.
Hickenlooper grew very testy with the local NBC news reporter when he was questioned about whether he had pulled strings to help get Ebel released from prison early, inadvertently contributing to Clements' death. The governor told the reporter his question was "stupid" and threatened to cut off his future access to his office. Hickenlooper, who personally recruited Clements from Missouri to join his administration, insists that he never asked Clements to give any special favors to Ebel and had never mentioned his name to him.
When news of Clements' murder was first learned, officials expressed concern that his killing could have been in retaliation for the refusal of Colorado officials to allow a Muslim inmate from Saudi Arabia to return to his native country to complete his prison sentence. Homaidan al-Turki had ties to Anwar al-Awlaki, a controversial American imam who became the first U.S. citizen ordered killed by President Barack Obama in 2011 through the use of a drone military strike in Yemen. About a week after al-Awlaki's killing, a second drone strike authorized by President Obama mistakenly killed al-Awlaki's 16-year old American-born son from Denver, Colorado and nearly a dozen other young Yemenese men.