El Paso County Trustee steps down, might reapply

El Paso County Public Trustee Tom Mowle resigned Tuesday along with eight other 10 governor-appointed trustees. The 10thtrustee retired.

The trustees, who manage property deeds and process foreclosures, stepped down at the request of Gov. John Hickenlooper following a Sunday Denver Post article that raised questions about how the appointed trustees used their budgets.

The Post article cited specific examples of questionable spending on the part of six appointed trustees, including the Adam’s County trustee’s purchase of a car for her personal use, and the Pueblo County trustee’s decision to move the office into a building he co-owns.

The Post did not cite any examples of Mowle’s misuse of funds.

Mowle said he turned over 18 months of operations records to the Denver Post, which he assumes was the same documentation the Post requested from other trustees. He also complied with follow-up requests for invoices and other records.

Mowle said he plans to reapply for his post.

“Going into this, I did not expect I would be offering my resignation today,” Mowle said.

He said he agreed with Gov. Hickenlooper’s assessment that even perceived impropriety can be damaging to the office.

“I thought it was the right thing to do,” he said.

As for reapplying, he said he doesn’t know when or how it will work, but he expects he follow the process.

He will continue to serve as the trustee until Gov. Hickenlooper appoints someone, Mowle said.

“The office is not shut down,” he said. “We will continue to operate.”