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Guest Editorial

by Roland Hinkson
Investigative Reporter

Last Tuesday, October 16th 2007, Acting Deputy Attorney General Craig S. Morford “announced the award of $75 million in Department of Justice grants to help fight violent crime in communities across the country and bring together state and local law enforcement agencies as part of violent crime task force.”

COMMENTARY: How about using some of that money to investigate domestic terrorism against an employee of the State of Colorado? You won’t believe that it is still happening in 2007!

This Guest Editorial arises out of the story of a Denver woman currently employed by the State of Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration named Roslyn McMillon. Her attorney, Wesley W. Hoyt of Englewood, CO a former deputy prosecuting attorney, describes his relationship with Ms McMillon, “I have represented this Denver family for almost 30 years; and they are kind, loving, non-violent, responsible, intelligent people who can’t get any local help with a very nasty problem. She has not one enemy that she knows of, and every report is that she is the ‘nicest person.’”

Her problem seems to be that she is of African American descent!

For the past year, Roslyn has repeatedly received on-the-job death threats by telephone. She is not the only black woman working in her department. However, she is the only one, black or white, who has received repeated death threats. Unknown persons have singled her out for unknown reasons. The threats have come to her phone and to her supervisor’s phone. The perpetrators have brazenly left messages on her supervisor’s answering machine threatening to kill her.

They call her every name in the book and promise her an old-fashioned lynching. She told her doctor that, for the last year, she had been receiving death threats by phone from at least two unknown individuals who say that they are going to hang her from a tree by a noose, and that is what she deserves because she is a "nigger." The last message was recorded and it came on October 1, 2007.

This all started in Sept. 2006, yet Ms. McMillon has been very patient, waiting for her employer, the State of Colorado, to do something. Why would she take these threats so seriously? Well, her cousin was murdered when telephone threats against him were followed by a burning cross in his lawn and followed by arson, all within a week. What is the difference between these racially motivated acts and terrorism?

Ms. McMillon’s attorney relates that her teenage children are having nightmares. He said, “Her mother is a nervous wreck. Her husband is dealing with the trauma of a distressed wife, a wife who cannot sleep and now is on drugs to calm her. They are all scared to death. She is ‘shell shocked’ by the barrage of calls from these creeps this past year.”

Ms. McMillon goes home every night from her job in mortal fear for her life. The fear is isolating her on the job and it is impacting her effectiveness.

She spent last Friday in the emergency room with a panic attack that her doctor says will lead to a heart attack if this continues.

She has asked for help from several agencies but has gotten none. She even asked the organizations of Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson to look into this case, but they were too busy raising money to notice. (If you are outraged, you could send a message to jmitchell@rainbowpush.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .) She has been obedient and patient now for more than a year with her employer telling her to wait and not do anything, making assurances such as: “these calls will stop…you hang in there [was the pun intended?]." However, they have only gotten worse. A former federal investigator informed attorney Hoyt that these things typically escalate and may turn violent; as with the case of Miss McMillon’s cousin.

“When I asked the Governor’s office to become involved” attorney Hoyt said, “the response was "oh, we talked to Ms. McMillon six months ago." The State of Colorado has ignored Ms. McMillon’s basic personal safety by failing to assign her secured parking, which only the “big-wigs” have and denied her a locking office, which everyone else has, including a recent temporary employee, except the receptionist. While a security guard does escort her to her vehicle, she parks in an unsecured lot, which anyone could access during the day.

Although she has a college education, 14 years of seniority and is a professional in human resources, she cannot get any help from her employer which has the resources to do a thorough investigation.

She now has a coveted job. However, if they do not find the perpetrators soon, she probably will break down and lose her job and 14 years seniority. For health reasons they are pushing her out of her job. Hoyt says, “Maybe that’s all that was wanted.”

There is racism in her office. Her former Department Director would not call her by her given name. He referred to her only as "girl" even though she is a 40-year-old professional. Her supervisor has invited her to take Worker’s Compensation as a means to get her out, suggesting she is protected by FMLA.

Mr. Hoyt says it is possible that the perpetrators are even people within her office or department. Or maybe they’re former employees. If someone did actually attempt to kill her, then everyone will scurry around acting as if he/she were really doing his/her job. The Federal Government or the State of Colorado needs to find these people and prosecute them.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) should protect Roslyn; however, the State agencies responsible have refused in spite of their own repeated promises. The State has failed to assign this case to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and they have failed to install internal phone taps or even record many messages which would have allowed them to develop voice prints for use in an investigation. Some of the early voicemails from September–December 2006 were lost because the State’s Technical Services Center refused to increase the amount of "save" time on her voice mail.

Mr. Hoyt points out that the first Denver Police Detective, assigned to her case a year ago, told Ms. McMillon “I have ‘real crimes’ to investigate and don’t have time for your phone messages.” However, the police authorities did later assign a new detective, “who at least is making an effort” according to Hoyt. He said, “The present detective is seriously working the case, but he can’t get the cooperation he needs from the State.” The State simply will not investigate or cooperate with the Denver Police Department detective by giving him current information. The State will not even use its resources for an internal wiretap. It is business as usual at the Colorado State Department of Personnel and Administration. They have waited over a year making hollow promises saying ‘things will get better.’” Well they haven’t.

“Why hasn’t the State of Colorado’s CBI investigated this case,” asks Mr. Hoyt?

“Colorado has its own version of the racketeering law, with similar provisions to the federal law; but since the CBI won’t investigate, Qwest will not use its resources either. Hoyt says “All it takes is two or more persons committing two or more criminal acts to make a criminal enterprise, which invokes the RICO law. It is possible that State Government personnel may be either directly involved or may be complicit; which could explain the official cavalier attitude. Possibly someone inside the State Government is either responsible or covering up for those who are responsible for this vile behavior.”

“There needs to be a bit of a covert operation,” explains Attorney Hoyt. “Without a proper investigation, there could be any number of suspects, including fellow employees. These suspicions of complicity by other State employees are based on the fact that this case has 1) gone unchecked for over a year, 2) the callers (perpetrators) navigate a complicated voicemail system, passing firewalls without being traced by Qwest (phone company) and 3) the callers obtained Ms. McMillon’s new phone number almost immediately regardless of precautions taken.”

We who seek to restore justice to this society in the manner intended by the Founding Fathers, think it is more than a coincidence that there would be promises, yet no serious investigation has been done.

Now, the State of Colorado is probably no longer a credible source for this investigation since they ignored the problem for over a year. Speculation yields several possible scenarios, but only a proper investigation would reveal the truth. Qwest, in fact, did put an outside tap on her office line for a while which yielded no useful information, yet they will not put on a new outside tap because they say it is not "organized crime." Is not another name for organized crime, racketeering?

Now that you know the injustice of what is happening to this honorable woman, why not contact the Office of the Governor of Colorado www.colorado.gov/governor and simply ask, why isn’t the CBI investigating this case? In a letter dated October 11, 2007 Colo. DPA Department head indicates that the State is trying to “pass the buck” to the Denver Police and its District Attorney. But, isn’t this a state employee with the hate crimes happening on state property? Should the FBI become involved? Fax your concerns to Congressman John Conyers Jr. the Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary at Fax No. 202-225-7680.

If we don’t voice our concerns while we have the chance, we may all hang together (pun intended).