City employee charged in leaking of Colorado court document

Posted at 7:43 AM, May 7, 2020 and last updated 3:57 PM, May 25, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A municipal employee was charged Tuesday with official misconduct for allegedly leaking a sealed court document in the case of a woman charged with killing her 11-year-old stepson.

Sherie Farstveet, a paralegal and executive administrator in the Brighton city attorney’s office, was issued a citation for the misdemeanor on Tuesday. She could face between three months and 364 days in jail or a fine of between $250 and $1,000 or both if convicted, according to a statement from the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Farstveet was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a city investigation, Brighton spokesperson Kristen Chernosky told The Denver Post. She did not immediately return a telephone message Wednesday.

Farstveet is accused of posting the affidavit laying out authorities’ evidence against Letecia Stauch on a website that tracks crime on April 2, prosecutors said. The document was released by the court the next day after its contents became widely known.

Stauch is accused of murdering her stepson Gannon Stauch in January before reporting him missing, allegedly concocting a variety of stories to mislead investigators, according to the affidavit. She has not been asked to enter a plea yet.

Investigators believe Farstveet had login credentials for the court system and was able to access the sealed affidavit, Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Allen of the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday. His office is prosecuting Stauch, but Farstveet will be prosecuted in the 17th Judicial District, where she worked.

Media organizations had sought to have the document released before the leak. Shortly before the leak, a judge had notified media attorneys that he intended to release the document within a week, providing prosecutors with time to go over the graphic document with Stauch’s family, Allen said.