Lee Asay, former Adams County Public Works director, reaches plea agreement with district attorney

Asay agrees to plead guilty to one felony

Brighton, Colo. - The former head of Adams County public works, who was the focus of a CALL7 investigation, agreed to plead guilty to one felony count in return for prosecutors dropping a number of other charges, according to a news release from Adams County District Attorney's office.

Leland Asay, 61, who lost his job and was eventually charged 27 counts, was the focus of a CALL7 investigation that revealed he signed off on millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to a Henderson company, Quality Paving, and the company provided employees with gifts and worked on Asay's house.

Asay faced 20 felony theft, one count of embezzlement of public property, three counts attempting to influence a public official and a misdemeanor theft and official misconduct charge. The judge consolidated the charges to six felonies, prosecutors said.

He has agreed to plead guilty to theft for unlawfully using Adams County trucks and employees, prosecutors said in a news release. There is no agreement on a sentence but the presumptive range is between two and six years, prosecutors said.

“It is our hope that the successful prosecution of these cases will instill faith and trust in local government from the citizens of Adams County,” said Adams County District Attorney's chief trial deputy Dave Young in a news release.

But 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.

Asay's deputy, Sam Gomez, was sentenced to four years in prison after a plea agreement.

Asay is scheduled for sentencing January 29, 2013, and prosecutors will most likely decide on whether to make a sentencing recommendation after the sentencing report is completed.

The county is also suing the men to recover millions the county says taxpayers lost in the deals.