DENVER – Douglas Bruce, the former Colorado state representative and anti-tax crusader who served prison time for tax evasion and violating probation, has lost a request to appeal those convictions.
Colorado Politics reports that a two-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied Bruce’s request for an appeal.
Bruce received two consecutive 90-day terms for his 2012 convictions for filing a false tax return and attempting to influence a public servant, as well as six years’ probation.
In 2016, he was convicted of violating probation for failing to disclose his financial dealings and served 180 days of a new two-year sentence. The probation department said Bruce failed to submit financial disclosures and tax filings and didn’t report code violations and court cases related to properties he owned in Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois.
He later was granted parole in September 2016.
Bruce initially maintained that he was being targeted because of his role in gaining passage of the 1992 Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, a constitutional amendment that sets strict limits on state taxes and spending. And at his 2016 sentencing, he told a Denver district judge that he had “no remorse because I’m not guilty.”
Bruce later told the state parole board: “I accept responsibility for all my actions. I deeply regret them. It will never happen again.”
The appeals court judges said Thursday that Bruce had “utterly failed to make the showing of actual innocence necessary to establish a fundamental miscarriage of justice that would excuse the procedural default.”
They said that showing has to be based on new evidence not presented at trial.
Bruce could not be reached for comment, Colorado Politics reported.
After authoring the 1992 amendment known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, Bruce served as an El Paso County commissioner from 2005-2008. He was appointed to a state House seat representing Colorado Springs in December 2007.
In 2008, he was censured by the state House for kicking a photographer for the Rocky Mountain News, and he lost a bid to keep the House seat in November 2008.