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Commerce Council Drama Spills Out of City Hall; Rivals Engage in Scuffle at Local Restaurant

By Kristin Grafft

Following a hostile Commerce City Council meeting on Tuesday, August 20, the drama continued at a nearby restaurant in the late hours of the night, resulting in a police report.

Tension was already high as councilwoman Denise Robles and her husband Richard were on their way home, when they noticed the cars of council members Tina Baca Del Rio and Ivan Altamirano and Eddie Olivio in the parking lot of Steven’s Steakhouse.

However, these were not their personal cars, these were the city issued cars given to employees to be used for city business.

Richard Robles said in an interview with Hews Media Group-Community News, “Tina accused my wife of abusing the car privilege… then after the meeting she had the nerve to take the car to a steak house to go have dinner and drinks for personal reasons, just like she always does”

Robles explained, “the code says they’re supposed to use it for city business and then take it back. If it’s late at night they can take it home and return it in the morning.”

The couple saw this as “a good opportunity” to address the issue and take pictures of the cars as proof.

Robles took some photos and uploaded them to Facebook and then said he entered the restaurant to use the bathroom. While inside, Robles encountered the group.

Robles said it was about 1 a.m. and the group had been drinking. Robles said he asked if he could get some pictures of them and initially they went along with it.

“Baca Del Rio even posed for the first few before they realized maybe this isn’t such a good idea,” said Robles.

Robles then said Ivan stood up and approached him, saying, “You’re an asshole. I’m going to kick your ass. You’re a bitch, just like your wife.”

City commissioner Miguel Alvarado had friends on the scene and said; “Apparently Ivan got up and began getting very aggressive and confrontational with Richard.”

“Initially Eddie and Tina told Ivan to sit down and leave it at that, but Ivan continued and followed Richard on his way out of the restaurant saying nasty things about him and his wife,” Alvarado said.

Robles said he just put his hands in his pocket the whole time to make sure he didn’t do anything.

However, despite Robles’ alleged restraint, a sheriff visited him at his house later that night at around 3 a.m.

Robles said he was asked to step out of his house, but refused because he was afraid they were “intent on arresting him.”

After hearing his side of the story, Robles said it appeared the police decided they did not have enough evidence to arrest him. Robles said he thinks the photos of Baca Del Rio posing in his photos were a strong indicator that he was not the aggressor.

Although HMG-CN has yet to obtain the police report, Robles said the sheriff informed him that Baca Del Rio, Altamirano and Olivio all reported that Robles had been the one threatening Altamirano.

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