By Brian Maass
DENVER (CBS4)– Former Colorado Department of Transportation audit director Chris Wedor pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to identity theft and forgery but will not be going to prison.
“It was a gross mistake and something I will live with for the rest of my life,” said Wedor, minutes after he pleaded guilty and was sentenced.
Wedor was fired in December 2016 after CDOT found irregularities in expenditures connected to the use of state credit cards. He was later charged with 17 felonies for allegedly spending about $29,000 of state money on personal expenses.
But in a court appearance, Denver prosecutors agreed to drop most of the charges and let Wedor plead guilty to one count of felony identity theft and one misdemeanor count of forgery.
Prosecutor Joseph Morales announced in court that the D.A.’s office agreed to allow Wedor to serve two years unsupervised probation on the forgery count and a two-year deferred judgment on the felony charge. If Wedor stays out of trouble, the felony charge will be dropped in two years.
Wedor’s attorney Jake Martinez said Wedor “accepted responsibility for his actions today. Today is a positive step for CDOT and Chris Wedor so he can move on with his family.”
Wedor is repaying CDOT about $34,000 for the missing money, said Martinez.
Wedor, who was previously the audit manager for the City and County of Denver and ran unsuccessfully for Denver City Council, also offered an apology to Colorado taxpayers.
”I just want to apologize to the executive team of CDOT for what I put them through as well as my friends and family and my children. I will be working hard to make this right for the rest of my life”.
Had he gone to trial and been convicted, Judge John Madden IV told him he could have faced two to six years in prison.