Tag Archives: Ethics Complaints

Marble disputes ethics charge, said she didn’t know who paid for town hall

Marianne Goodland (Colorado Politics) – In just over two weeks, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission will hold a formal hearing to determine whether Sen. Vicki Marble violated the state’s ethics law concerning gifts to lawmakers.

The Commission worked through pre-trial motions Thursday in preparation for the Jan. 8 meeting, which could feature testimony by Marble, an Extraction Oil & Gas employee and Marble’s legislative aide. The five-member group could rule on the complaint following the hearing.

Last June the ethics body decided to investigate a complaint filed against the Fort Collins Republican by Sarah Hall Mann of Broomfield. The complaint deals with a Feb. 15 town hall hosted by Marble at a Broomfield restaurant. The event was paid for by Brian Cain, a media relations spokesperson for Extraction Oil & Gas.

Click here to read the rest of the story in Colorado Politics.

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Court: Ethics Commission’s frivolous complaint rulings are final

Marianne Goodland (Colorado Independent) — Once Colorado’s secretive Independent Ethics Commission dismisses a complaint as frivolous, it cannot be appealed to any higher court.

That’s the decision the Colorado Supreme Court made today on a 4-3 ruling.

The case involved Colorado Ethics Watch, which filed an an ethics complaint against an Elbert County commissioner, which the Ethics Commission dubbed frivolous.

Click here to read the full story in the Colorado Independent.

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No ‘smoking gun’ in Glendale

Peter Jones (The Villager)-

A recreational-marijuana store called the Smokin’ Gun is smoldering at the center of the latest controversy to hit Glendale, but the elected leader says his fingerprints won’t be found.

Mayor Mike Dunafon disputes a complaint from the nonprofit, Colorado Ethics Watch, which accuses the city leader of not appropriately recusing himself last year from a City Council vote approving Smokin’ Gun, a new pot-retail outlet owned by his now-wife.

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Colorado’s newest pot shop tied to strip club and mayor

Kristen Wyatt (Associated Press)-

Colorado’s newest pot shop has some wondering whether strippers and weed are too closely aligned on a busy highway just east of downtown Denver.

The Smokin Gun Apothecary opened on a site formerly occupied by the Denver area’s best known strip club, Shotgun Willie’s. The strip club hasn’t gone away — it’s moved just across the parking lot, testing ethical and potentially legal issues about the state’s growing legal recreational pot industry.

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Ethics complaint filed for Glendale mayor’s vote regarding wife’s marijuana dispensary

Brendaliss Gonzalez (Denver Channel)- Colorado Ethics Watch claims the mayor had a financial interest when he cast the vote.

According to the city council minutes taken at the meeting on Feb. of 2015, Mayor Mike Dunafon originally recused himself from the vote concerning granting the approval to open the Smokin’ Gun Apothecary next to Shotgun Willie’s, a strip club also owned by the mayor’s wife.

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Ethics complaint filed against Glendale mayor for pot shop vote

Carlos Illescas (Denver Post)- Colorado Ethics Watch has filed a complaint with the city of Glendale, asking that the City Council censure Mayor Mike Dunafon after he voted to approve a plan for a new recreational marijuana store owned by his now-wife.

His wife, Debbie Matthews, is majority owner of the Smokin Gun, a recreational marijuana store on Colorado Boulevard that is scheduled to open as soon as next week.

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Utah lawmakers got a hefty pay raise for waging lands fight, tax record shows

Robert Gehrke (The Salt Lake Tribune)-

State Rep. Ken Ivory was paid $135,000 last year for his work as president of the American Lands Council — a group dedicated to winning state ownership of federal lands — and his wife was paid another $18,000, according to the group’s most recent tax filing.

Ivory’s salary shot up by $40,000; the state representative estimated he spends about 60 hours a week working on issues for the American Lands Council.

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Watchdog group files complaints against groups pushing recall

Gabrielle Porter (High Timber Times)- A Colorado Springs-based watchdog organization has accused groups involved in instigating the recall of three Jeffco school members of violating state campaign finance laws in two lawsuits that will go before Colorado’s Office of Administrative Courts.

Colorado Government Watch alleged in an Oct. 13 complaint that nonprofit groups Jeffco United and Support Jeffco Kids — both of which have ties to the organization that initiated the recall of conservative school board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams — are acting as financial pass-throughs for campaign funds while their nonprofit status protects them from disclosing donors. Colorado Government Watch wants the state to require both groups to register as issue committees, which would force them to disclose their donors, said director Dede Laugesen.

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Public-land transfer proponents may have violated lobbying laws

Joshua Zaffos (High Country News)- The central organization that advocates for Western states to take over federal public lands, Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory’s American Lands Council, is apparently running roughshod over state legislative rules.

The Colorado Secretary of State announced last week that it has “reasonable grounds to believe” the ALC may have violated state lobbying and disclosure rules for failing to report political spending or to register as a lobbyist. The ALC, which leads the West-wide movement to transfer federal lands to states’ control, emailed Colorado supporters this spring to build backing for a bill that would have created a county commissioner-led task force to study the benefits of public-lands transfer to the state of Colorado. (The Senate bill failed by one vote.) The ALC has ushered similar bills through nearly every Western state legislature, with varying success.

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A tangled web of city strife

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.”

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