Investigations against Van Der Jagt law firm continue, but are delayed | The stands

Attorney Grant Van Der Jagt of the Sarzynski Van Der Jagt Law Firm is under delayed investigation by the Colorado State Bar over allegations of serious misconduct related to work he and the firm performed for the city of Monument.

After filing a complaint in January 2023, the city of Monument announced in a press release on May 13 that the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation (OARC) investigation into Van Der Jagt was ongoing and that the law firm had experienced delays. The original complaint investigation, lodged into allegations of professional misconduct, has extended beyond the expected period and now totals 17 months.

The OARC, a division of the Colorado Supreme Court responsible for maintaining legal professional standards, has indicated that another delay is due to changes in defense attorneys representing defendants.

While the OARC has not publicly released the details of the investigation, the city of Monument has released that the complaint includes allegations against the Castle Rock-based law firm’s attorneys, including unauthorized disclosure of attorney-client privileged documents, intimidation and threatening behavior conduct toward City employees, lack of professional competence, misidentification of her client and related responsibilities, withholding of client files after dissolution of law firm, and continued unfounded retaliation against the City and its elected officials.

It also includes allegations of engaging in fraudulent practices, political donations to obtain legal employment or judicial appointments, conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deception or misrepresentation, conduct that directly, intentionally and unlawfully harms others and the fitness of a Lawyers affect working as a lawyer. The allegations stem from the law firm being hired by the previous City Council on December 18, 2022, to re-examine a campaign finance complaint that had previously been dismissed by an independent hearing officer.

The firm, led by husband-and-wife team and law firm partners Grant Van Der Jagt and Dagna Van Der Jagt, submitted a report within 10 days of being hired. The report was later rejected by the newly elected city council because it was beyond the scope of work and contained numerous inaccuracies.

“In April 2023, we agreed to a more detailed report on in-kind donations from the city to the Ballot Question 2A Issues Committee and took steps to obtain funds for unauthorized company services,” said Monument Mayor Mitch LaKind. “The Council and I made no comments during the OARC review process to ensure a fair and objective investigation.

“We now hope for a quick solution and appropriate disciplinary action by the presiding disciplinary judge.”

As stated in the press release, the City is committed to resolving the issue in accordance with the law and in the best interests of Monument, and will keep its citizens and the community informed of the progress of the investigation and any further actions required and taken.