The husband of Denver's powerful District Attorney Beth McCann has been accused of violating a county fire ban near the large East Troublesome wildfire.
Christopher Linsmayer, 68, was charged with 12 counts of fourth-degree arson, a misdemeanor, after deputies with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to his residence in Kremmling, Colo., on Tuesday and found a dozen unattended slash piles actively burning on the property.
“Due to weather conditions, Kremmling Fire Department was unable to get a water truck near the burning slash piles or the residence they were surrounding,” Sheriff Brett Schroetlin and Undersheriff Wayne Schafer said in a news release.
“Multiple firefighters were able to hike in and put the flames out using hand tools, shovels and utilizing the snow already on the ground,” they said.
McCann, a Democrat, was elected Denver district attorney in 2016 and is up for reelection Nov. 3.
She wasn’t commenting on the charges, according to local media.
Her spokeswoman issued a statement saying McCann was thankful that no property was damaged and that no one was injured, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
“This is a very difficult time for her and her family, and they are cooperating fully with the investigation,” the statement said.
This is not the first time Linsmayer has faced fire-related charges in Grand County, KMGH-TV reported.
Last year he pleaded guilty to two counts of burning on a county Red Flag day, the station reported.
At his sentencing, neighbors testified that Linsmayer had a history of leaving fires unattended and that they feared for their lives and their properties, according to the station. He was punished with a fine and an order to make a donation or pay restitution.
KMGH reported that Linsmayer was also linked to a fire that burned more than 10 acres and caused more than $100,000 in damage in 2016.
Neighbors suspect Grand County prosecutors are showing Linsmayer leniency because he is married to McAnn, the station reported.
Local District Attorney Matt Karzen said he is sorry neigbhors feel that way because it isn't true.