Denver Officials Still Investigating Ethics Complaint

The Denver District Attorney’s Office is still investigating a legal complaint filed by a local watchdog group against a state senator, but it has no explanations as to when the inquiry will be complete or why the investigation has spanned nearly a year, according to an official with the DA’s office.
Colorado Ethics Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group, accused the DA’s office earlier in the week of “stonewalling” on a criminal complaint the organization submitted in April.

The complaint accused Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany, R-Colorado Springs, and the Legislature’s Senate Minority Office of breaking a law that prohibits public representatives from taking monetary gifts and using them toward official state business.

CEW claims that McElhany broke the law when he was reported to have admitted accepting money from a state political committee to pay for ColoradoSenateNews.com, the official Web site and communications hub of the Senate Minority Office.

Lynn Kimbrough, communications director for the DA’s Office, says that the case is still open, although it has been delayed for a “variety of reasons.” When asked what those reasons were, Kimbrough responded that she could not disclose such information.

The DA’s office has no time limits on pursuing the case, and there is no statute of limitations because a formal complaint has already been filed.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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