Doug Bruce, Colorado's notorious anti-tax advocate, was released from Denver County Jail on May 31, 77 days ahead of schedule, for good behavior. Bruce had been sentenced to 180 days in jail in February after he was found guilty by a Denver jury on tax-evasion charges.
In a Denver Post interview recorded on video as he left jail, a cantankerous Bruce described his time served, and the whole process in general, as "stupid". He also added he faced many food-related hardships while serving, including "refrigerated rolls," kool-aid dispensed from the same container coffee had been in that morning, and gravy that tasted and looked like "sewage."
Gazette Reporter John Schroyer live-tweeted some of the interview, first noting:
An indictment filed in April of 2011 (visible below) charged Bruce with evasion of taxes, filing a false tax return, attempting to influence a public servant, and failure to file return or pay tax. In addition to his jail time, Bruce has been ordered to pay close to $50,000 in restitution and court costs, and will serve six years of economic probation, during which he has to divulge all details of financial activities to authorities.
@Cool_Hand_Bruce, a satirical twitter account created after Bruce first reported to jail, seemed to indicate it would shut down now that Bruce has been released. One of the account's last tweets mocked Bruce's anti-tax policies, stating:
During Bruce's trial, prosecutors said the former lawmaker used his own an anti-tax group, "Active Citizens Together," to disguise his income. From 2005 through 2007, prosecutors stated Bruce funneled his salary as El Paso County commissioner into the group.
He deposited $2 million into an account for the nonprofit, then used interest from the funds as his own. 9News reports the amounts were $38,000 in 2005, $55,000 in 2006, and $85,000 in 2007. During the trial, Bruce told reporters he owed only $129 in state taxes. Colorado Department of Revenue officials believe the figure is closer to $10,722.
Bruce, the author of Colorado's much contested 1992 Taxpayer's Bill Of Rights (TABOR), has been described as "a cantankerous government gadfly." In 2008, Fox31 reports, Bruce made headlines for kicking a photographer on the floor of Colorado's House of Representatives. He also referred to migrant workers as "illiterate peasants."