‘Democrat of the Year’ loses title after felony conviction

Annie Z. Yu Contributor
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Jefferson County, Colo. Democrats have revoked 66-year-old Estelle Carson’s 2012 “Democrat of the Year” award, following her conviction on Thursday for stealing from a 71-year-old woman who suffers from both partial blindness and cerebral palsy.

Carson was found guilty of felony identity theft and felony theft from an at-risk person for stealing checks from the woman to pay for cable, cellphone and Internet bills.

The elderly victim, who is confined to a wheelchair, has a fixed income of $596 per month.

The Jefferson County Democratic Party announced in late 2011 that it planned to honor Carson at a gala in January 2012 for her Democratic activism and efforts. Three days before the Jan. 8 dinner, critics warned the Democratic Party officials of an ongoing criminal investigation into Carson’s activities.

Chris Kennedy, chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, disregarded the warning.

“After much consideration, my decision was that the award being presented by my organization and the alleged financial exploitation need to be compartmentalized, one having no bearing on the other. Thus I decided to present the award to Estelle,” Kennedy wrote in an email following the event.

Carson is due in court this December. If sentenced, she faces a maximum of nine years in prison.

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Annie Z. Yu