Liam Adams is an independent journalist in Denver writing for local and national outlets.  

'Brighton's Battle:' a local political conflict

Brighton City Hall. Photo by Belen Ward

Brighton City Hall. Photo by Belen Ward

In June 2019, Liam started as a reporter for MetroWest Newspapers in Brighton, CO with the expectation to cover all sorts of local news. What he found, though, was something else entirely…

In Sept. 2018, Philip Rodriguez, former city manager of Brighton, alerted city council to excess cash in the city’s utilities funds, which includes water, wastewater and stormwater funds. Rodriguez said the amount was upwards of $70 million.

After a quieter eight months, the controversy escalated. City council approved a forensic audit into the utilities funds, Rodriguez was terminated over what some councilors cited as “personnel reasons” and a recall effort developed from the belief in a “cover-up.” Even with all this, more continues to unfold. In the Nov. municipal elections, voter will decide whether to remove the mayor.

Highlights of Liam’s coverage on the issue:

The “$70 Million:” what’s known and unknown

Brighton’s Battle

Brighton’s latest obsession: transparency

A social media storm

Major reporting, in chronological order

June 12, City manager defends himself at study session

July 5, Brighton to seek forensic audit of utilities

July 11, City manager suspended, parts 1 & 2

July 16, Brighton’s Battle

July 19, City manager fired

July 23, A residents recall

July 30, A social media storm

Aug. 11, Recent water billing cycle upsets residents

Aug. 20, Brighton’s latest obsession: transparency

Aug. 27, Rate study suggests lower rates, but raises questions about “$70M”

Aug. 30, The “$70 million:” what’s known and unknown

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