In three of the stories that The Denver Post ran about Michael Hancock’s alleged ties to prostitutes, including the big splashy ones on the front page, Post reporters, as if to bolster a weak story, tossed in vague and misleading references to U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham.
9News revealed in 2008 that Nottingham was allegedly a client of the same prostitution outfit that Hancock allegedly used, and “fallout” from that investigation, the Post informed us June 11, “led to the resignation of then-Chief U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham.”
In case you missed it, the next day, June 12, The Post repeated itself, stating that stories by 9News “led to the resignation of then-Chief U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham.”
If you know the exploits of Nottingham, which themselves were over-publicized by the Rocky in the day, you know that it’s really unfair and self-serving to imply, as the Post does here by mentioning Nottingham without proper context, that Hancock’s situation is comparable to Nottingham’s.
Nottingham had a bunch of serious problems that had been building up for years, before 9News revealed that his name was on the Denver Player’s client list.
Remember Nottingham’s divorce records were dragged through the media cycle in 2007, when it was revealed he had allegedly spent $3,000 in one night at a strip club and didn’t recall much of the evening because he was drunk.
Then he allegedly threatened to call federal agents when a women, in a classic act of civil disobedience, parked her wheelchair behind Nottingham’s car, which was illegally in a handicapped slot.
It was also alleged, through Nottingham’s divorce dispute, that he was watching porn on a work computer from the bench. Back in 2007, the year before the Denver Players story came out, The Post revealed that the FBI was allegedly investigating Nottingham regarding the use of his computer and possibly other matters.
So his nickname of Naughty Nottingham stuck.
And recall that the Judicial Code of Conduct states that a judge must avoid the appearance of impropriety. There’s no such Politician Code of Conduct, just so you know.
Then, after all this, 9News aired its story in 2008 that not only was Nottingham’s name allegedly on the client list for the prostitution outfit, but Nottingham had allegedly told a prostitute to lie to investigators about their weekly trysts.
The bottom line is, Nottingham’s problems and allegations were way more serious than what Hancock is accused of, and for which no credible evidence was present when the Denver Post started hyping this story. And there’s still no credible evidence.
Yet, The Post spiced up its story with Nottingham’s naughty name, and, wouldn’t you know it, Nottingham was being tossed around by other news outlets, and the talk-radio gang, and blogs.
Asked via why he included the Nottingham reference, with so little context, Post reporter Chuck Plunkett, who was the author of two of the three Post pieces mentioning Nottingham, wrote:
I do think it’s important to note the Nottingham connection. It gives readers a bit of reference to the source of the recent allegations. But I don’t know that it’s necessary to go into every detail of Nottingham’s case.