Auditor expands investigation of Coffman’s office

The Colorado State Auditor is expanding a current audit of the Secretary of State’s Office to include a determination of whether former SoS IT Manager Dan Kopelman misused state resources, and to look at whether the Secretary of State’s office is adequately performing its functions.

The action is being taken at the request of the legal watchdog group Colorado Citizens for Ethics in Government.Kopelman was demoted as a disciplinary action for allegedly selling state voter databases to Republican candidates via his own web site. The Secretary of State’s office is charged with selling these same databases for $500 so, if true, Kopelman may have been in competition with his own employer, using the state’s resources to do it.

CCEG called Secretary of State Mike Coffman’s demotion of Kopelman “half-hearted.” CCEG’s Chantell Taylor added in a release:

“Now that Secretary Coffman’s office has publicly admitted that Kopelman’s actions violated at least two state personnel rules, it is clear that his demotion amounted to nothing more than a minor slap on the wrist. The Secretary should keep all disciplinary actions open pending the results of the audit.”

The Secretary of State’s office couldn’t be reached as this story was being written. However, the SoS office did conduct an internal investigation which found that Kopelman:

“Did not have access to the Department of State’s voter registration data; Did not purchase voter registration data from the Secretary of State’s office while an employee of the Department of State; Did not sell voter registration data.”

As a result of the investigation, Kopelman was moved to a non-supervisory position outside of the Elections Division, with a decrease in salary of about $9,000 annually.

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Dan Whipple

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