Speaking at a campaign event in Silver Cliff in October 2020, Rep. Lauren Boebert told a crowd of supporters the story of how she had brought a “message of freedom and independence to women at the Garfield County jail.”
“For seven years, I had the opportunity to counsel at-risk women, women who had thought they had ruined any hope for a prosperous future,” Boebert said. “I was able to bring them hope.”
“I was able to go into that jail and introduce these women (to) God … and launch them into an impactful future,” Boebert, then a Republican candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, added to cheers. ”This is all far more powerful than any government program could ever be.”
Boebert’s politically- and religiously-themed tale of the seven years she spent volunteering at the Garfield County Detention Facility was one she repeated often in stump speeches throughout the 2020 campaign. Her volunteer work was the subject of press coverage and even a campaign ad that Boebert filmed just outside the jail’s gates.
But a volunteer attendance log maintained by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, obtained by Newsline through a public records request, shows that Boebert volunteered at the jail on a total of nine occasions over a period of just two and a half years, beginning in May 2014 and ending in November 2016.
The volunteer records maintained by the Sheriff’s Office also show that Boebert misrepresented her own criminal history, as well as that of her husband, Jayson, while applying to volunteer at the jail.
Boebert’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
‘No, never arrested’
Boebert claimed that she spent “seven years” counseling women at the Garfield County jail at least four times in 2020, according to news reports and recordings of her campaign events. In other instances, including in her campaign ad, she did not specify the number of years she had volunteered.
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office records show that while Boebert completed an “Inmate Programs Volunteer Training” at the detention facility twice in 2011 and 2013, she did not volunteer for the first time until May 11, 2014. She subsequently volunteered once in 2015, and seven times in 2016.
All nine occasions came on Sundays, and are listed on Boebert’s attendance report as being associated with “New Creation Church Service” — referring to the Glenwood Springs church where Boebert “rediscovered her Christian faith,” according to a Fox News report.
On its website, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office lists the New Creation Church service as one of more than a dozen inmate programs facilitated by volunteers at the jail. ”Service starts with a Teaching Video on Christian Principles, leads group discussion on application and Bible Study using the New King James Bible, and then leads prayer,” the description reads.
Prior to volunteering for a third time at the jail in 2016, Boebert applied for recertification as an inmate programs volunteer. Under a section headed “Legal,” Boebert circled “NO” in response to the question, “Have you ever been arrested?”
“No, never arrested,” she wrote in the space provided below.
In fact, Boebert had been arrested the previous year in Mesa County, having been detained and charged with disorderly conduct after a dispute with sheriff’s deputies at a country music festival near Grand Junction. A warrant for her arrest was later issued after she failed to appear in court; records show that she subsequently turned herself in at the Mesa County jail and was released on bond, according to The Colorado Sun. The charges were later dropped.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario did not respond to interview requests regarding Boebert and her volunteer work. Vallario, who has served as sheriff for more than 18 years, endorsed Boebert in the 2020 election. When asked last year by The Colorado Sun about Boebert’s criminal record, Vallario responded, “People are allowed to change and to grow up — whatever.”
On two volunteer applications submitted in 2011 and 2016, Boebert also responded “No” to the question, “Do you have a personal relationship (relative, friend, ex-relative) with anyone who is now or has ever been incarcerated in the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility?”
Jayson Boebert, however, spent seven days in jail after being arrested in Garfield County on a domestic violence charge in 2004, according to the New York Post.
On her 2016 application, Boebert’s own statements appear to contradict her campaign-trail claims that her volunteer work lasted for seven years.
“I have ministered to the ladies in the GARCO Jail for more than two years,” she wrote. “I love ministering to the women there, I love sharing with them the love of God.”
Lauren Boebert, 34, a resident of Silt, only months into her first term has drawn national attention for her combative style and fierce advocacy for Second Amendment rights. She is also well-known for her restaurant, Shooters Grill, in Rifle, where servers carry handguns strapped to their waist.