Our mayor forged the name, room number and signature of another councilor on a hotel bar tab. According to a taxpayer funded independent investigation he wrote the room number of the other councilman, printed the other councilor's name and scribbled what appears to a signature. The signature is not legible. This happened in Washington DC during a conference.

No criminal charges were made. Is this illegal? What should be done? How do I report this? I don’t have an example of the mayors sober signature.

  • 1
    Yes, this is illegal, but why do you have to report it? Do you have a fiduciary responsibility (like being part of the government accounting department)? How did you come into this information?
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 22, 2020 at 22:57
  • It’s all public information. I asked the city clerk for it. No I have no fiduciary responsibility. I’ve emailed the attorney general in Washington DC and our Colorado Governor and received no response. I’m not a lawyer. I use to manage 300 legal file a year in a law office. I just don’t understand what I’m missing. Are you a lawyer?
    – Dyer
    Oct 22, 2020 at 23:14
  • As a taxpayer I feel I have the responsibility to report it. The investigation cost $7,500. I feel the taxpayer should be at least refunded by our Mayor fir his irresponsibility.
    – Dyer
    Oct 22, 2020 at 23:17
  • Would the city for the attorney have a fiduciary duty to report it? Or the city manager?
    – Dyer
    Oct 22, 2020 at 23:20
  • The forgery (if it was that) would be illegal, but the charge may not be. If he was cleared of any charges, why would he be liable for the cost of the investigation? Maybe he had permission from that person to put it on that tab? We are missing a lot of details here.
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 23, 2020 at 0:06

2 Answers 2


I am assuming you are not the councilor.

Civil matter you have no standing. The councilor does. Maybe the hotel bar does. I can’t think of anyone else who does.

Criminal matter If a crime was committed in DC, the DC prosecutor is under no obligation to prosecute it. As a political matter, if you were a citizen of DC you could complain and try to get the prosecutor voted out next election.

Political matter As a citizen of your city, it is a political matter: You call your councilman* or any city councilman really and ask them to begin impeachment or whatever similar action you have there. Then next election to try to get the mayor voted out. If you are unsatisfied with the council, try to get them voted out also.

The cost of investigation is a cost of running a government. Someone could have chosen not to spend seven grand investigating a hundred bucks, but they did it.

*Note this is called petitioning for redress which is the right that the current SCOTUS nominee could not recall off the top of her head.


If the question is, "How do I report this illegal activity?" the answer is almost always, "Pick up the phone and call the police/FBI."

If the follow-up question is, "What if they don't do anything?" the answer is almost always, "Hire a lawyer to evaluate other options."

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