Keyser admits personal financial disclosures inaccurate and months late

Keyser admits personal financial disclosures inaccurate and months late

U.S. Senate candidate and former state Rep. Jon Keyser of Morrison has another problem that his opponents claim goes to his credibility. And it’s no small deal – incomplete and missing financial disclosures that could carry criminal penalties.

State lawmakers and lawmaker wannabes are required every year to file personal financial disclosure documents that show their major assets, debts and sources of income for themselves and spouses.

The disclosures are supposed to cover assets like the lawmaker’s home and any other real estate property owned with a value of above $5,000, including investment or rental properties and ownership of mineral or water rights. Disclosure statements are also supposed to show the debts of a lawmaker and spouse over $1,000; where the lawmaker and spouse work; and other assets of more than $5,000, such as insurance policies.

It’s no small matter to ignore the requirements of the personal financial disclosures, at least based on state law. Not filing the documents, which Keyser didn’t do in 2016; or filing them with inaccurate or incomplete information, as he did in 2015, is a misdemeanor, punishable by $1,000 to $5,000 per occurrence.

Keyser filed his first personal financial disclosure document in August 2013. In his 2013 filing, Keyser listed two properties: one in Cedaredge, Colorado and the other, his home in his Morrison district.

The next required filing was on January 10, 2015, after Keyser was elected to the state House. It was filed on March 20, 2015, more than two months late.

That document did not include the Morrison home as an asset, although he still lived there; the mailing address listed was a post office box.

The  2016 filing was due on January 10. And although he announced he would resign on January 11 of this year from his state House seat, Keyser was still casting votes in the House until January 22.

The 2016 disclosure was finally filed last Friday, June 10, after The Colorado Independent contacted the Keyser campaign to ask about the documents. Keyser also amended his 2015 disclosure to include his Morrison home in his assets.

Keyser spokesman Matt Connelly told The Independent that the Secretary of State’s office never notified Keyser of any shortcomings with his disclosures, and allowed Keyser to amend the forms. “We’re happy to have the opportunity to amend it to explicitly show what is already obvious,” Connelly said.

These disclosure statements are important, says Luis Toro of Colorado Ethics Watch. This is “the only way people can determine whether or not a legislator has a conflict of interest on votes,” he told The Independent. “That’s why they have to disclose their financial interests.”

But a spokesperson for Keyser opponent Darryl Glenn, an El Paso County Commissioner, said the the issue is more than whether state law is followed: it’s also about  whether Keyser is trustworthy.

Jillian Likness, who handles communications for Glenn, said the gaps in Keyser’s disclosure documents point to the same questions that have surfaced about Keyser throughout the campaign. Is he someone voters “can count on to do the right thing?” Likness asked. “Is he someone who keeps his word? That’s what it comes down to — integrity and strength of character. It’s certainly a question that continues to be raised,” she said.

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About the Author

Marianne Goodland

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.

4 Comments

  1. Tom in Green Valley Ranch on said:

    Maybe Jon Keyser is getting his financial disclosure advise from Donald Trump.

  2. JohninDenver on said:

    Missing deadlines by 2 and 4 months. Overlooking a house-sized “detail” in one of the reports.

    No wonder ColoradoPols has Keyser in a unique status: the only time a candidate has earned a MINUS 5 (-5) on The Big Line, their estimate of a chance of winning an election.

  3. buford on said:

    This is normal republican behavior…they are crooks, they are only out for themselves, and never will they govern in the name of the People…

  4. Frank in Denver on said:

    And Cruz endorses Glenn. BUH BYE Jonny boy (fingers crossed). And take the the snake in Aurora with you.

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