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January 23, 2009

Ms. Lisa E. Frankel, Esq., Ass’t. Regulation Counsel


Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel
1560 Broadway, Suite 1800
Denver, CO 80202

Re: Investigation of Edward W. Nottingham, Jr., 09-00056

Dear Ms. Frankel:

It is my understanding, based on documents published at knowyourcourts.com, that you are in


charge of the aforementioned investigation. As such, I am taking the liberty of bringing a matter
to your attention that may not necessarily be obvious to attorneys without a financial background.

The patronage of high-end prostitutes is an inordinately expensive hobby. At this price level,
the ladies offer what they call the “girlfriend experience” -- where they play the role of girlfriend
and confidante. Understandably, encounters of this nature typically last a minimum of 2-3 hours,
and the rate for outcall services is $300 an hour.1 It has been further alleged that Mr. Nottingham
patronized them on both a regular and frequent basis:

The driver told 9NEWS he took prostitutes to meet Judge Nottingham at two locations in
the Denver area about 10 times during the summer of 2007. ... The driver also told
9NEWS he met the judge in person, then later looked him up on the Internet and saw his
picture. The driver says he saw Judge Nottingham outside the condo complex on Steele
Street interacting with the prostitutes several times. "They always seemed pretty affec-
tionate, you would almost think they were a couple by the way that they acted together,"
the driver told 9NEWS. "They would hug each other and almost kiss on the cheek and
then they would go inside." The driver says the women returned from their meeting with
the judge with $300 or $400 in cash per visit.2

Another courtesan claimed that "she had sex with Judge Nottingham for $250 to $300 an hour
once a week from February 2003 through November 2004 at the former escort agency Bada Bing
of Denver."3 Additionally, it is worth noting that "Judge Nottingham married [third] wife, Marcie
Jaeger, on Valentine's Day 2004.”4

1
E.g., Sara Burnett, Police Bust Denver Escort Business, Rocky Mountain News, Feb. 7, 2008 [on-line cite].
2
Deborah Sherman and Nicole Vap, Chief Federal Judge Investigated For Alleged Involvement with Prostitutes,
9News.com, Mar. 7, 2008 [on-line cite].
3
Sara Burnett, Nottingham a No-Show Today After Report of Resignation, Rocky Mountain News, Oct. 16, 2008
[on-line cite].
4
Amy Herdy, et al., FBI Questions Ex-Wife of Federal Chief Judge, 9News.com, 2007 (exact date not given) [on-
line cite]
1

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Assuming the veracity of these reports, we could reasonably infer that, for the better part of a
decade, Mr. Notttingham spent somewhere in the neighborhood $60,000 per year on this form of
adulterous entertainment, not counting reportedly frequent visits to the Diamond Cabaret (where
“$3,000 is not an unusual amount to spend” on a given night.5

Whereas former Gov. Elliot Spitzer (D-NY) was independently wealthy, and could pay for his
courtesans out of petty cash, Mr. Nottingham’s Financial Disclosure Reports for the years 2006-
2007 reveal that his only material source of income was his salary as a judge. As take-home pay
for a federal judge is roughly $120,000 per year, he could not have hoped to pursue his libertine
hobbies on his salary alone.6 Also, the then-Mrs. Nottingham had free and unfettered access to
the family finances, as evidenced by the incident that brought this saga into public view.7

So here, you have the most important question in this case: How do you spend $60,000 a year
on courtesans without your new wife finding out, when you only net $120,000 a year? The only
way you can do it is to earn money that she doesn’t know about, and the only way for a judge to
earn money in that manner is to take bribes from attorneys and/or litigants. As no one questions
his overall competence as a judge, I would further submit that a thorough review of decisions by
Mr. Nottingham that are in clear and unequivocal contravention of precedent would furnish you
with a short list of suspects who may have tendered bribes.

On the face of it, this evidence creates a reasonable suspicion that Mr. Nottingham has com-
mitted some extremely serious crimes (e.g., bribery, the filing false of tax returns) -- any one of
which would certainly warrant disbarment. As such, I would respectfully suggest that any com-
petent investigation include the functional equivalent of a Taxpayer Compliance Measurement
Program audit (performed in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Revenue), which is
designed to detect the receipt of unreported income.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

With kind regards,

Kenneth L. Smith
23636 Genesee Village Rd.
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 526-5451
Enclosures; cc as appropriate

5
Felisa Cardona, Feds Grill Nacchio Judge's Ex-Wife, Denver Post, Aug. 11, 2007 [on-line cite].
6
Comparison of Mr. Nottingham’s Financial Disclosure Reports for 2005 and 2006 reveals a peculiar anomaly. At
the close of 2005, he reported cash and savings accounts held with Wells Fargo Bank in excess of $250,000, but at
the close of 2006, he reported cash on hand of less than $15,000. As he reported these accounts prior to his marriage
to Ms. Jaeger, and that they were consistently valued at $250,000 or more before 2006, it can reasonably be inferred
that this dramatic outflow of funds is attributable to a single event, such as a judgment against him.
7
Note 5, supra.
2