Panel Dismisses Hickenlooper Ethics Complaint

April 14, 2014 7:38 PM

Panel Dismisses Hickenlooper Ethics Complaint
" DENVER (AP) – Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper did not violate the state’s gift ban or improperly use staff time for a partisan governor’s conference, a Colorado ethics panel ruled Monday.

In dismissing the complaint on a 4-1 vote, the Independent Ethics Commission concluded that the use of staff time in preparation for the event was minimal. Commissioners also said the value of Hickenlooper’s policy expertise shared at the Democratic Governors Association conference, and the hours he spent helping organize it, exceeded what group spent on food and lodging for Hickenlooper.

Commissioners spent months considering the complaint. It was filed by the conservative group Compass Colorado, alleging Hickenlooper violated the state’s constitutional gift ban by allowing the governor’s association to pay for his food and lodging at the conference in Aspen last summer.

Hickenlooper’s attorneys argued that exemptions under the gift ban allowed the association to cover costs for the governor, who hosted and spoke at the conference "

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