The former chief of staff to the Colorado House Republicans, who served on the Woodland Park council for just a year amid questions about his residency, resigned his office last week in a Facebook video that included personal attacks and threats against those he deemed "scoundrels."
Jim Pfaff, who won a council seat in the Teller County community of fewer than 8,000 residents in April 2020, was the subject of an announced recall effort that called into question his legal qualifications to serve in elected office.
Although a district attorney's office investigation of Pfaff's residency at a local campground concluded that any allegations could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the "Recall Pfaff" group claimed no evidence existed that Pfaff lived in the city for 12 months prior to his election, as the charter requires. The recall website also accused Pfaff of bullying.
In a video posted on April 16, Pfaff announced his resignation, saying he was "really busy" with helping to start a company, such that "I don't have the time anymore."
However, Pfaff then dragged some of the Woodland Park residents who had been outspoken critics of his tumultuous tenure on council.
"The whole thing got screwed up and David Buttery’s the reason," Pfaff said, referencing the former city manager of Woodland Park who advocated for the aquatic center, which Pfaff viewed as a boondoggle. "Your Christian character, David, comes under question because of the things you did as a city manager," Pfaff added.
To Michael Dalton, who runs the Woodland Park Underground page on Facebook, Pfaff warned: "I wouldn’t be in a dark alley with me ... Michael. That ain't gonna turn out good for you.”
Prior to moving to Teller County, Pfaff's lengthy resume included stints as chief of staff to two Republican congressmen, the state director for the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, an Indiana state House candidate, a podcaster, Douglas County GOP chair, and the owner of a Woodland Park smoothie shop with his wife. (The phone number for the store is disconnected and the Pfaffs have reportedly vacated the premises.)
Carrol Harvey, a former Woodland Park council member and critic of Pfaff's, believed his stated explanation for moving on was a pretext to avoiding a successful recall.
"Jim Pfaff convinced voters he was a resident of this community with high ideals and a vision for change. But his message of change was never defined. He simply attacked individual members of the community assuming he knew of some past transgression these men had committed," she wrote in an email. "Even the best con can only go on for so long before people start getting suspicious. For that reason, con artists tend to move frequently."
Dalton, on his Facebook page, called Pfaff a "fraud" and accused him of giving COVID-19 to former Mayor Val Carr, who died of the disease in February.
Pfaff praised Carr and his fellow council members, while criticizing former Mayor Neil Levy, who also died within the past year, as not being "the great wonder boy of this town." He ended by implying Woodland Park could have been the location of his unnamed business venture, if certain people had not treated him so poorly.
"With these scoundrel characters that I’ve head to deal with in this town, I’m not interested in dealing with you," Pfaff said. "Maybe you can repent and get things right."