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Colo. sends cease-and-desist to trailer park owner accused of voter intimidation

Fort Morgan trailer park tenants say landlord is threatening to hike rent if Joe Biden wins
Posted at 2:17 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 08:01:59-04

FORT MORGAN, Colo. — State officials have sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Colorado mobile home park owner accused of voter intimidation.

Tenants at a Fort Morgan trailer park say they came home to find a letter from their landlord threatening to increase their rent if Joe Biden wins the election.

“To all tenants:

Please understand if Joe Biden is elected as our next president. Everything you do and have to pay for will change completely.

Everything will be increased. Like paying A LOT more in taxes, utilities, gasoline, groceries, new permits, fees and regulations … everything! This also means your rent will be increased to cover expenses. Most likely, rent would double in price!

If the current president is re-elected, we will not raise the rent for at least two years.

Voting is your choice and I’m not telling you how to vote. We are just informing our tenants what we will do according to the election results.

If Trump wins, we all win. If Biden wins, we all lose.

Vote on November 3, 2020,” the letter said.

Cindy Marquez said her landlord, Bernie Pagel, signed the letter, which was left on her fence and dated October 19, 2020.

Despite the line at the end telling tenants voting is their choice, Marquez said she viewed the letter as a threat and called it a form of voter intimidation.

The Colorado Attorney General's Office in a letter to Pagel last week said his letter "constitutes unlawful voter intimidation in its coercion of Mobile Home Park homeowners/tenants or their immediate family members to vote a certain way by indicating economic consequences based on the outcome of an election."

Read the full letter here.

The cease-and-desist letter demanded that Pagel stop communicating to residents about implications based off the upcoming election. Pagel has until Friday to respond to the letter or further legal action could be a result, the letter said.

Denver7 stopped by Pagel’s office at the Fort Morgan trailer park last week and no one answered the door.