ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A candidate for Adams County Commissioner who admitted he lied about his criminal past and tried to mislead an interviewer now blames his deceptive answers on “exhaustion.”
Charles Tedesco, one of five candidates for Adams County Commissioner, was approached earlier this month at a candidates forum. CBS4 had learned of two DUI arrests for Tedesco about 20 years ago — one leading to him spending nine days in jail.
However, when asked straightforward questions about criminal incidents, Tedesco admitted he lied.
“I don’t know why I did it,” Tedesco later said. “I was embarrassed.”
Tedesco has now posted an explanation for his actions on his website.
“At the end of a 14-hour day, in the last stretch of a year-long campaign, I was asked an obscure question about something that happened in my past nearly 20 years ago. Perhaps due to my level of exhaustion, I responded with less grace than should have been afforded the situation.”
In the taped interview, Tedesco was asked if he had ever been jailed, arrested, or had a criminal record.
“I visited the jail but I’ve never been arrested,” Tedesco responded.
He went on to say he went on a tour of the Adams County jail about a month earlier, but that was his only experience behind bars.
Tedesco was again asked if he had actually been arrested.
“I was picked up but not sure if I was actually arrested. I was picked up absolutely,” he said.
“Was it serious?” he was asked.
“No, nothing serious,” he responded.
Tedesco went on to explain the only time law enforcement had picked him up was when he was seven years old and “walked out of a store with something in my pocket I shouldn’t have.”
“Like shoplifting?” he was asked.
“Yeah,” he responded.
“But that’s the only time you’ve been arrested or in trouble with the law?” was the next question.
“Right,” he said.
“Shoplifting as a teen?”
“I was not a teen — seven years old. No, I got picked up but didn’t say I got arrested,” Tedesco said.
As the interview continued, Tedesco was again asked to clarify.
“The only time you got picked up was as a seven year old for shoplifting?” he was asked.
“Right, when I was seven years old,” he responded.
After eight minutes of prodding and repeated questions about arrests, Tedesco finally admitted to a single drunk driving arrest.
“I was picked up the day I got back from the military. I had partied and got picked up for DWAI, so I did have that,” Tedesco conceded.
But even then, he still didn’t admit to what records obtained by CBS4 showed. A second DUI case four years later that landed him in jail.
“Any others?” he was asked.
“Nope, nope,” responded Tedesco.
Several minutes later, the candidate finally confessed to the second DUI case that put him behind bars for nine days.
“It was very eye opening, it changed my life,” he said.
In his newly released explanation, Tedesco said he “reluctantly recalled my history as a troubled youth and painfully relived mistakes I had worked hard to correct over the last 20 years. I do not dwell on my mistakes, I learn from them,” wrote the candidate.
He said his admissions during the interview were done “clumsily.” CBS4 found that the other commissioner candidates had nothing more serious on their records beyond speeding tickets.
- Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com