Disgraced evangelical minister Ted Haggard sent a letter to his supporters late last week soliciting donations. Haggard and his family left Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the megachurch he founded, New Life Church, after Haggard was outed in 2006 by male escort Mike Jones as a meth user and inept cocksucker. Haggard—declared "100 percent heterosexual" by his "spiritual overseers" after 23 days in counseling—now lives in Phoenix, Arizona. In his appeal, Haggard promised his supporters a place in heaven if they help pay his living expenses for the next two years—and a tax deduction, if they send money via an obscure charity called Families with a Mission.
"If any supporters need a tax deduction for their gift, they can mail it to Families with a Mission at P.O. Box 63125, Colorado Springs, CO 80962," Haggard wrote. "[Put] a separate note on it that it is for the Haggard family, then Families with a Mission will mail us 90 percent of the funds for support and use 10 percent for administrative costs. Thank you so much."
When local attorney Dave Coffman read about Haggard's appeal for money on Slog, The Stranger's blog (slog.thestranger.com), he started doing some digging.
"I'm tired of the hypocrites," said Coffman in an e-mail. "I'm tired of people and our youth in particular getting beat up, judged, and ridiculed for whom they are—especially when those doing the beating are hypocritical."
Coffman began by looking into the legality of sending donations to a private individual through a charity. The first odd thing Coffman uncovered was that the charity handling donations for Haggard, Families with a Mission, had "voluntarily dissolved" on February 23, 2007.
Coffman noted that the mailing address for Families with a Mission's registered agent, Paul Huberty, was the same address Haggard gave out in his plea to supporters. When Coffman started searching public records for information on Paul Huberty, he learned that Huberty was a registered sex offender in the state of Hawaii. Huberty had been convicted of having anal sex with his 17-year-old female ward while stationed in the military in Germany, but it was his conviction in Hawaii in 2004—of attempted sexual assault—that landed Huberty jail time. Court records also show Huberty on Hawaii's sex-offender registry. Coffman discovered that Huberty had not registered as a sex offender in Colorado, as the law requires him to.
Coffman shared what he learned with The Stranger, and we posted the scoop to Slog late Friday afternoon. By Monday morning, Haggard's involvement with a registered sex offender—and Coffman's role in bringing it to light—was zooming all over the blogosphere. By Tuesday, Haggard's relationship with Huberty was being covered by daily papers in Denver and Colorado Springs; Haggard's "spiritual overseers" were flying to Phoenix to demand answers; and Huberty, the registered sex offender, was "distancing himself" from Haggard. Colorado's 9NEWS reported that, according to Huberty, no donations have been sent to the Haggard family, nor have any donations been received by Families with a Mission on Haggard's behalf.
Says Coffman of Huberty: "I have grave concerns that he is involved with anything to do with families and children. As far as Ted Haggard, I'm happy that we were able to expose his continued hypocrisy."