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May 04, 2006

One wonders what the story is in Fort Lupton, Colorado.

Or if it is just as it seems? That Mayor Jim Bostick is an asshat?

The mother of a U.S. Marine was grieving for her dead son when she found that his savings account had been claimed by the director of the funeral home. It was money that he had no right to and despite a court ruling, the funeral director refused to pay. What's even more puzzling is that he's not just any debtor, he's the mayor of the small town and a member of a City Council that has financial responsibility for the city's budget.

Jason's body was returned to Colorado for burial. Records show that the funeral was paid, in full, by the Marines. But after closing out her son's accounts, Jason's mother realized that the probate court had sent the proceeds of Jason's savings account to the funeral home, which is run by Jim Bostick.

In addition to his duties as mayor and member of the Ft. Lupton City Council, [Jim] Bostick also owns two funeral homes. In his role with the city, he is heavily involved in overseeing the finances of the town.

Do take the time to read the *story thus far* which is seedier than it looks.

As the Puddle Pirate (whose tip this is) sez:

OK, milbloggers. Let's close ranks and charge.

City of Fort Lupton
[city data remove based on the update]

Indeed. Let's shine a little light in this corner of Colorado and see what scurries out.

If you choose to contact the individuals or city, do so in a polite, civil manner. [Don't bother them, the message has been recieved] The Armorer does not approve of spittle-flecked rantings - especially at people who are only tangentially involved by association, and not direct action. For the record - be polite to the Mayor, too. Even if he does seem to be the villain here.

Mayor Bostick - I'll be happy to post any reply to this you have that is more substantive than that you gave The Denver Channel's 7NEWS Investigator John Ferrugia (story linked above).

Oops. Immediate update. It seems that shining lights (and not from here, just having hit "post" two minutes ago...) had the mostly intended effect. But I really wish people would quit the whole death threat crap. Besides being criminal, it's just stupid.

FORT LUPTON, Colo. -- The mayor of Fort Lupton, who operates two funeral homes, has been afforded police protection after receiving death threats following a 7NEWS investigation that revealed he has refused to repay money illegally kept from the family of a U.S. Marine who died.

"I've been getting a lot of phone calls from a lot of different people, a lot of threats," said Jim Bostick, the mayor of Fort Lupton.

Bostick is worried about his personal safety and that of his business and he now admits he made a big mistake.

"It's my fault ... I will try to do whatever I can with Mrs. Sepulveda to get this issue put to bed," Bostick said. "As soon as I get the money, it's hers. I mean, fast. Because, you know, I can't keep putting up with the threats against myself and my family."

Well, I know that no Castle Denizens are yet involved in death threats. And none better be. I'll revoke your status.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't gently and politely remind Mr. Mayor Bostick to follow through - and that means we need to follow-up. A gentle heat, that would be "simmer" on your blog-stove.

Why? Because Bostick would appear to be a deadbeat.

While he may be sincere this time, Bostick claims he doesn't have the $7,500 a Weld County court said he owes Elis Sepulveda.

Sepulveda is the mother of a U.S. Marine who was killed in a car accident and brought back to Fort Lupton for burial. Jason Sepuldeva's savings were sent to Bostick's funeral home. It was money Bostick had no right to but he refused to return it.

"He was the person who received the money," said Magistrate Rebecca Koppes Conway. Conway assessed the judgment against Bostick in small claims court but can't force him to pay.

But lay off the City, folks. T'ain't their fault, and if the Mayor won't resign, one can hope the voters will fire him.

Several city officials are urging the Fort Lupton mayor to pay the Sepulvedas as soon as possible, hoping that the firestorm, which has nothing to do with city business, will subside.

As one official put it, "This has nothing to do with the Marines vs. Fort Lupton. This is about how Jim Bostick is doing his private business."

Indeed.

The follow-up story is here.