Jeff Campos, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO.
Jeff Campos, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO. (The Denver Post )

The board of Denver's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday it put its president and CEO, Jeffrey Campos, on paid administrative leave after his arrest on kidnapping and assault charges stemming from a domestic violence-related incident.

Campos, 55, was arrested on the afternoon of July 21 at the chamber's downtown offices and released from the Denver jail on $50,000 bond the next day, according to court records.

Details of Campos' arrest and the allegations surrounding it were immediately sealed by a Denver judge at the request of police, who said "media coverage of this case" would likely compromise their investigation, court records show.

The judge issued an order prohibiting Campos from making contact with someone involved in the case, called a protection order, though it is unclear who.

Arrest paperwork labels the case as one involving domestic violence but provides no additional information other than the initial arrest charges of second-degree kidnapping, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

Campos did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. His attorney, Gary Lozow, called the allegations "profoundly overblown" and said he was optimistic prosecutors would balk at filing formal charges.

When asked about the domestic violence nature of the arrest, Lozow said the case was "familial in part, and I'm hopeful it will resolve itself."


Regarding the chamber board's move, Lozow said Campos has taken it in stride.
"He's interested, as is the chamber, in their best interests, and at the moment they have to allow everyone to sort out the real facts, and he understands that," Lozow said.

Prosecutors have until Aug. 5 to decide whether to charge Campos. That's the same day as the chamber's highly regarded Sabor event, the Hispanic counterpart to the Taste of Colorado celebration. It is an annual networking and fundraising event held at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Jeff Campos was arrested two weeks before the metro Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s large summer fundraiser.
Jeff Campos was arrested two weeks before the metro Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's large summer fundraiser. (Denver Police)

Hispanic Chamber officials did not comment Tuesday. As word of the arrest spread, however, chamber secretary Michael Ferrufino, sales manager at KBNO 1280AM radio, said he was "saddened" by the news.

Spokeswoman Bridget Richards would only confirm Campos' suspension and that the chamber was "committed to serving its membership."

Several business leaders said they were shocked by Campos' arrest.
Lindita Torres-Winters, chairwoman of the Latina Chamber and president of Lindita's Inc., said Campos was "personable" and "very well-respected" in the business community.

Campos has been president of the chamber since 2005. He was in the insurance business before taking the helm at the chamber, Colorado's second largest.
Public records reflect little contact with police except for minor traffic offenses.

A native Chicagoan who grew up on the city's southside, Campos went on to play ice hockey at Loyola University. An avid sports fan and son of Mexican immigrants, Campos carved a successful career in the insurance sector, first with American Family insurance, overseeing its six-state mountain region, then with New York Life as a partner of its Denver office.

He took over the chamber at a time of dwindling membership, when Hispanic businesses were the fastest-growing segment of the national economy.

A crowning achievement was in 2009 when the Denver chamber hosted the national convention of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which brought more than 5,000 visitors to the city.

Campos, the father of two daughters, was selected in 2004 as a father of the year by the Father's Day Council of Colorado, and in 2003 received the Champion Award by the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce.