And the fifth and final member of Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission is … Fremont County Commissioner Larry Lasha. More than a year after voters approved Amendment 41, Colorado’s Ethics in Government law, the group can now begin meeting and figuring out the small print – no tiny task, given the brevity of the law.So far, only one complaint has been filed with the commission. Colorado Ethics Watch, a government watchdog group, has filed a complaint involving Secretary of State Mike Coffman.
After Tuesday’s announcement, that Lasha had been unanimously selected by the other four members of the Commission, Colorado Ethics Watch released a statement:
“We expect the Ethics Commission will expeditiously start performing its duties, including finalizing rules, investigating complaints and responding to requests for advisory opinions, now that all commissioners are in place.
“Colorado voters have waited more than a year, and we all have high hopes for the Ethics Commission. Colorado Ethics Watch looks forward to working with the commissioners to hold Colorado public officials to the highest ethical standards.”
Lasha’s appointment comes three weeks after the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously voted to lift the injunction, in place since last year, on the portion of the law that prohibits lawmakers and government workers from receiving gifts from lobbyists and others of more than $50.
The court has not ruled on the constitutionality of Amendment 41, a broadly worded law that has created confusion since it was approved by voters in November 2006 – including whether the children of government workers can accept scholarships and University of Colorado Nobel Peace Prize winners can accept the cash awards.
According to Lasha’s biography at Fremont County’s Web site, the commissioner was first elected in 2002.
Lasha has served on several boards and commissions, including those of Pueblo Community College and St. Thomas More Hospital. A native of Florence, Colo., he was a firefighter in Colorado Springs for 31 years and a previous city manager of Florence, in southern Colorado, for four years.
Other members of the Independent Ethics Commission include: