Update: As of February 1, 2024, the debt is still listed as “Unsatisfied,” and appears to date back to the filing period of 12/21/2003.
Stephen D. Daniels, Chair of Mesa County’s new and supposedly more financially responsible Board of Public Health, has owed the State of Colorado $10,200 in unpaid income taxes since at least 2010. Court records accessed on 1/3/2024 currently list the debt as “UNSATISFIED.”
In 2010, the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) filed a lawsuit against Daniels for $10,200.19 in unpaid taxes (Case No. 2010CV800822). On December 28, 2010, an Eagle County Court entered a judgment against Daniels for the amount and then issued a distraint warrant against Daniels’ property. After the judgment and warrant were filed with the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder, the warrant became a lien on all of the real estate Daniels owns in Eagle County.
Daniels apparently has ignored the judgment, debt and warrant for over 13 years.
What is a Distraint Warrant?
According to the State of Colorado (pdf, page 2), a distraint warrant is “a legal document giving the department and its agents the power to collect delinquent taxes or seize and sell sufficient property to satisfy delinquent taxes.” It is the government’s equivalent of putting a lien on your property. The state puts a distraint warrant on a debtor’s property to assure the state eventually gets paid the amount it is owed. The debtor is usually served the warrant by the county sheriff in the form of a document that indicates the amount taxes overdue, the final due date for payment and instructions prohibiting the debtor from removing or destroying any property or assets inside a business. If the taxes remain unpaid, the debtor’s property can be seized, advertised and sold for the amount of taxes due, plus the expenses of having to advertise and sell it, and possibly interest on the debt.
According to Daniels’ bio sketch on the County Health Department’s website, he has a Masters of Business Administration, was a Certified Public Accountant and claims to have worked as a Chief Financial Officer at several companies during his career. He also says he is an adjunct teacher of economics, finance and accounting at Colorado Mountain College in Eagle County. An “adjunct” instructor is an employee who works part-time on a contractual basis and is not eligible for tenure.
A July 8, 2023 article in the Daily Sentinel said county commissioners appointed Daniels to help “bring financial experience” to the Board of Health.
If for some reason the information the Court has on this debt is incorrect, Stephen Daniels is welcome to respond about why it is wrong.