BRIGHTON, Colo. - The former Adams County public works director who was the focus of a CALL7 investigation into county corruption was sentenced Tuesday to more than two years in prison.
CALL7 Investigators discovered that Leland "Lee" Asay provided Quality Paving Companies millions in no-bid contracts. Former company workers also said Asay received gifts and work on his house from the company.
"In April of 2008, Channel 7 happened to run a news story how Mr. Asay had some work done at his house and Quality Paving did some of that work, with a driveway and concrete work in the back yard… that’s what sparked the investigation into this case," Adams County District Attorney Dave Young told the court.
Asay was charged with 20 felony counts, but reached a plea where he agreed to plead guilty to one count of theft for unlawfully using Adams County trucks and employees.
Adams County Judge Steven Shinn sentenced Asay to two and half years in prison and fined him $10,000, which will be suspended if he completed his sentence.
Shinn said there was a culture of corruption inside Adams County and Asay seemed to be part of a “good ol’ boy network.”
There will also be a restitution hearing to consider forcing Asay to pay the county $128,000, an amount which the county alleges Asay defrauded taxpayers.
Asay told the court, ”I will guarantee you, whatever you end up with restitution, we will pay every penny."
Asay is scheduled to report to prison after the March 1 restitution hearing.
Five other people pleaded guilty or were convicted of charges in the case, including two Quality Paving officials, owner Jerry Rhea and vice president Dennis Coen, who were sentenced to nine and 13 years respectively.