Gabrielle Porter (Canyon Courier)- Groups on both sides of the contentious Jeffco school board recall election have employed funding methods that conceal donors’ identities.
Since efforts to recall conservative board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams were launched in late June, Jeffco residents have been inundated with information from both sides.
Paul Zubeck (Colorado Springs Independent)- Gordon Klingenschmitt, the highly controversial Republican state representative from Colorado Springs, again is under fire — not for outlandish remarks about gays and lesbians as in the past, but for allegedly using his for-profit business to drum up money for his nonprofit, even as it was under suspension by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Klingenschmitt, who represents House District 15 in El Paso County, allegedly used for-profit GJK Inc. to solicit funds for his nonprofit Persuade the World/Pray in Jesus Name during the nonprofit’s suspension from Oct. 15, 2014, to Jan. 28, 2015, as previously reported by The Colorado Independent, a news website.
Pam Zubeck (Colorado Springs Independent)- This week City Councilor Helen Collins and her ally, anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce, filed an ethics complaint against “the Gang of 8” — her Council colleagues — as well as several other officials. The seven-page complaint, which cites 15 alleged breaches, comes amid efforts to schedule a hearing on Collins’ own ethics violations. But the latest complaint shouldn’t impede Council’s handling of Collins’ case, says Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch.
“This is kind of an old stunt,” Toro says. “The fact that she filed something against them doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t decide the case in front of them. Otherwise, it would be too easy for people to stunt their way out of an ethics complaint.”
Marianne Goodland (The Colorado Independent)-
The underlying lawsuit that brought the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission and Colorado Ethics Watch to the Colorado Supreme Court has taken another turn – one that will likely land an Elbert County Commissioner in more hot water.
According to documents obtained by The Colorado Independent, Elbert County reimbursed a county commissioner for a $1,000 fine levied against him for campaign finance violations. That appears to fly in the face of the judge’s order that originally assessed the fine.
Marianne Goodland (The Colorado Independent)-
The Colorado Supreme Court now has two cases before it that could either affirm or weaken the authority of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission to keep much of its work reviewing ethics complaints against public officials out of the public eye.
The first case is an appeal from former Secretary of State Scott Gessler over an ethics commission ruling that Gessler improperly used taxpayer money to attend a Republican Party function. The second case, from the commission itself, is a lawsuit against Colorado Ethics Watch. The commission has asked the court to uphold the panel’s right to dismiss frivolous complaints without further judicial review.
Click here to read the full story in The Colorado Independent.
Eric Gorski (Chalkbeat Colorado)-
Allegra “Happy” Haynes is seeking guidance from the Denver Board of Ethics about her imminent plans to take over as executive director of the city’s parks and recreation department while continuing to serve as Denver school board president, Chalkbeat has confirmed.
Haynes requested an advisory opinion, which the city board will consider at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday morning, said Michael Henry, the ethics board’s executive director.
Greg Ruland (Grand Junction Sentinel) – Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese’s vote to give a property tax break worth more than $3,500 to a former law client was proper, County Attorney Patrick Coleman said earlier this week.
The vote was proper and Pugliese’s relationship with the former client at the time of the vote imposed no obligation on her to disclose it, Coleman said.
Peg Perl (HuffPost Denver) – Three years ago, Colorado was hailed as a “model for senators across the country” because of the cooperative, timely and successful screening process our then-Senators used to inform the President’s nomination for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court of Colorado. It is unclear whether we are still deserving of such praise.
U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn announced last April that he will be taking Senior Status effective April 2016. This announcement opens up a “future vacancy” on the District Court for Colorado and gives the President and the Senate a year to nominate and confirm a new federal judge. While a year seems like a long lead time, that’s not always long enough to get something accomplished in D.C. (There is some sort of human years:dog years conversion needed to for real time:Congress time).
Click here to read the full story in the Huffington Post.
Jeremy Jojola (9News) – Taxpayers may also be getting cheated as government employees use their official work accounts to conduct extramarital affairs.
9Wants to Know found numerous local government email accounts in the Ashley Madison database acquired and uploaded by hackers.
“Any kind of misuse, including for your own personal affairs is something that should be avoided,” said Luis Toro of Colorado Ethics Watch, a government watchdog group. “Government emails, government resources at your computer are supposed to be used for public business only.”
Susan Greene (Colorado Independent) –
At the peak of the Animas River crisis, Cynthia Coffman reached out to the Durango City Council and La Plata County Commission and invited each member to dinner. But several of her would-be guests didn’t appreciate what the state Attorney General planned to serve up.
Some are blasting Coffman for ignoring Colorado’s open meetings law. As the state’s top law enforcement official, they say, she should have known better than to try to gather them together in a closed meeting.
Click here to read the full story in the Colorado Independent.