Steamboat acquaintance: Kellogg was helpful with club

Man accused of trying to hire hit man to kill former business partner

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Brooks Kellogg

— The Brooks Kellogg known in Steamboat Springs isn’t one who would try to put a hit out on a business partner, an acquaintance said.

Jane Denning, president of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, said Kell­­ogg was her sponsor to get into the organization eight years ago, and he had been a member since 1999. Kellogg would attend meetings whenever he was in Steamboat — usually about six months spread throughout the year — and always was willing to help with Rotary events, Denning said.

“If you ever needed anything, he was always there,” she said. “He’s a go-to guy, and he was always there for any project we had; he would help out.”

FBI agents arrested Kellogg, 73, on Tuesday at Denver International Airport on allegations that he was trying to hire a man to kill Stephen Bunyard, a former business partner who had twice sued him. Bunyard won about $2.5 million in a settlement from the first lawsuit, filed in 2004. The second case, filed this year, is in court-ordered arbitration.

Kellogg is the managing member of Chadwick Real Estate Group in Steamboat. Larry Poz­ner, of Reilly Pozner LLP in Den­­ver, is representing Kellogg in the criminal case.

Pozner noted Kellogg’s contributions to the community, saying his client’s “background is that he’s a successful businessman, a gentleman, a philanthropist. He gives a lot of his time and money to charity. This allegation does not fit anything that people know about Mr. Kellogg.”

Kellogg owns a home overlooking Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club in Steamboat Springs.

In a detailed arrest affidavit, federal agents laid out how Kellogg allegedly used an e-mail address that resembles his wife’s name, instant messages and phone calls to arrange a hit through a Clifton woman. The woman said she was Kellogg’s mistress, according to the affidavit, and the document states that the woman named her husband as the person who could kill Bunyard.

In one instant message conversation, the woman, allegedly posing as the contracted killer, asked a person said to be Kellogg, under the screen name gvkell, “so you want him dead.”

The gvkell screen name replied, “if that is necessary yes.”

He later wrote, “well our thought was to give him a warning but if thats not safe for you to do then the bullet is fine” (spelling and grammar errors from the conversation were not changed in the affidavit).

Finally, the affidavit states that Kellogg e-mailed contact information for Bunyard’s business in Destin, Fla., to the would-be killer.

When the FBI stepped in, agents arranged a meeting between Kellogg and the “killer,” actually an undercover agent.

Kellogg reportedly was visiting Steamboat for a court hearing related to the lawsuit Bunyard filed in 2004, FBI Denver spokesman Dave Joly said Friday.

When Kellogg arrived at the airport, the FBI agent told Kel­­logg to go to a meeting place and then showed him a picture of Bunyard, the affidavit states.

“That’s the guy,” Kellogg reportedly replied.

The FBI agent asked Kellogg, “You want him killed?” and Kel­­logg reportedly said, “Yeah.”

When the agent later asked if Kellogg had other jobs for him, he said he had “some other things in mind,” the affidavit states.

“At no point in the conversation did Brooks Kellogg make any statement that he wanted any other, less serious, action taken against Stephen Bunyard,” the affidavit states.

In the affidavit, the FBI stated that although the woman has a lengthy criminal history in two states and “has provided misleading information and inaccurate information in a number of respects,” some events corroborated her allegations.

“The complaint is fairly unusual,” Pozner said Friday. “It’s very rare in my experience when the government admits in their first summary that their star witness has significant credibility problems.”

He also said he was just beginning to look into the case.

“We have not been able to delve into the case because the prosecution has turned over no documents, no police report, no evidence of any kind,” Pozner said. “We’re beginning our own independent investigation into some aspects of the case, but right now, we’re on the very beginning.”

FBI done in Steamboat

Joly said he couldn’t comment much on the arrest but said he doesn’t expect the FBI to come to Steamboat for any further investigations. He said he also couldn’t comment on any other charges or arrests related to the case. He said the case had been turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner said Kellogg remains in custody in Denver and will have a detention and preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Monday. From there, prosecutors have 30 days to indict him by grand jury to move the case forward.

Comments

Steve Lewis 3 years, 5 months ago

The cover headline on today's Today:

“KELLOGG'S CHARACTER PRAISED”

I understand Jane Denning standing beside him and respect that. I hope I would do the same for my former compatriots. And when the Pilot sees fit to fill local newsstands with a helpful headline for a jailed realtor's reputation, it’s not my place to say Brooks doesn’t deserve the PR assist. He is innoccent until proven guilty, and justice will be served him in due course.

But this headline compells me to remind the Pilot of another citizen, Steve Aigner, whose treatment has been quite the opposite. Steve announced and initiated the petition that led to the recall of the SB700 annexation. In the end, the majority verdict of that recall obliterated any argument that Steve’s work was contrary to the best interests of his community. Yet during that work, Steve became the object of a series of very painful and humiliating articles in this paper. Which in effect said:

“AIGNER”S CHARACTER QUESTIONED”

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Marie Menk 3 years, 5 months ago

Really? The Pilot is really running this story? Making excuses for a guy who allegedly put out a hit on a former business partner and being held without bond. Wow. This could be murder for hire was a philanthropist or maybe they meant philanderer. I expect this comment will be removed too, but I just had to say...

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 5 months ago

So far we have only heard the FBI's story: Rich man accused of terrible crime.

The P/T aren't making excuses...they are interviewing people who know the man and reporting what they say.

This is what journalism is all about...getting all sides of the story. No other news organization is in a better position to tell the whole story. Let them take the ball and run. Let's see where they go.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree the article is appropriate. The original article mentioned his membership in the Rotary club, and this one allows for their responding comment in support of their member.

We should all have such friends.

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Marie Menk 3 years, 5 months ago

Today's Headline: "Kellogg's Character praised" Definition: –verb (used with object) to express approval or admiration of; commend; extol. to offer grateful homage to (God or a deity), as in words or song. Ok. let's see where they go with this.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

I think it is fair to look at the facts that lead to this situation. It looks like he had a partnership and sold property without that owner's permission and has failed to pay the agreed upon money. As a business partner he sure looks like a crook.

Maybe he is good guy when it comes to the Rotary, but he looks like a business partner that is willing to break every law on the books.

And while this woman as an informant might have major credibility problems, the airport conversation with the FBI agent regarding the hit and paying him $2,000 up front for the hit are very hard to explain away.

Steve Lewis, The issue with Steve Aigner was that he gave a silly lecture and then tried to pull the video of it and then what he said meant something different than their obvious meaning. It should have been a minor quickly forgotten issue, but his reaction made it into a bigger story. If he had said it was a talk to academic friends and not a serious academic lecture and that he had allowed himself to exaggerate to his Iowa friends about things in SB then it would have gone away. But his response made it look like he was trying to hide something and his explanations of what he said were laughable. And that made staying as head of the community alliance an untenable situation.

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exduffer 3 years, 5 months ago

This reminds me of my favorite comeback lines, in the movie Head Office. Between Jane Seymour and Eugene Levy

Levy: Well, you are just screwing your way to the top, aren't you? Seymour: I wouldn't be much of an executive if I screwed my way to the bottom. Would I?

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exduffer 3 years, 5 months ago

Or this one.

Pete Helmes: In the old days, I'd have had that son of a bitch in cement and thrown into the river faster than you can say Henry Ford! Scott Dantley: Unfortunately, these are the post-Watergate 1980s. Pete Helmes: Well, then shoot him! Scott Dantley: Killing Jack Issel isn't a wise idea, sir. Pete Helmes: I'm one of the most powerful men in this world, and if I can't have someone shot, then what the hell does it mean to have power anymore?

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hereandthere 3 years, 5 months ago

Oh, a Rotarian. Perhaps this explains why no booking photo? As for his character, the succesful civil suit speaks volumes.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 5 months ago

And even if you want to argue the civil suit was a misunderstanding that was settled then what is his excuse for not paying that?

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Marie Menk 3 years, 5 months ago

Chicago Tribune: How real estate exec was charged in murder-for-hire plot FBI says ex-Kildeer village trustee's Colorado mistress informed on him

The case against Brooks Kellogg has all the elements of a graphic crime novel — an alleged mistress with a dark background, bruising high-stakes court fights and a murder-for-hire plot.

But behind the details spelled out in a federal court document lurks the question: What could possibly lead a respected 73-year-old Chicago businessman and former Kildeer village trustee to allegedly put out a hit on a business associate?

Kellogg had serious money problems, court records show.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-10-23/news/ct-met-murder-for-hire-1024-20101023_1_murder-for-hire-fbi-real-estate

The last time I looked a man who allegedly has a mistress with a criminal record and gets stung by the FBI in a murder for hire scheme should not be "praised". Rotary "go to guy" or not.

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pitpoodle 3 years, 5 months ago

I guess it's OK as long as he is a member of Rotary. You only get asked if you are a criminal, if you are a candidate standing before a Rotary candidates forum and, of course, if the publisher/Rotary President doesn't like you.

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Oscar 3 years, 5 months ago

It's nice that other members of a social self-promotion club speak out on his behalf. Do you suppose that anyone who knows about the more seamy side of SBS real estate development is going to say anything about someone's character in a negative manner who was caught putting out a contract on the life of someone he disagrees with?

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