The Colorado Independent,2020
All Right Reserved.
Home Tags Amendment 41
Tag: Amendment 41
DENVER — Colorado’s top ethics panel agreed Friday to release unedited audio recordings of two secret meetings and plans to turn over redacted recordings of five additional closed-door meetings conducted earlier this year. The announcement came during a hearing in Denver District Court on a lawsuit filed by The Colorado Independent alleging the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission illegally met behind closed doors a dozen times between January and May.
Six weeks after an investigation by The Colorado Independent found repeated violations of the Colorado Open Meetings Law by the Independent Ethics Commission, the panel charged with enforcing ethical standards among public officials across the state has taken dramatic steps toward greater transparency and disclosure.
The Colorado Independent sued the state's Independent Ethics Commission Wednesday night alleging the panel has repeatedly violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law since January by meeting behind closed doors to formulate policy and adopt positions on questions about ethical conduct by public officials.
A watchdog group will get the chance to read complaints filed this year with the state's top ethics panel alleging wrongdoing or ethical misconduct by public officials. Reversing its policy, the Independent Ethics Commission notified Colorado Ethics Watch on Wednesday it would release "all non-frivolous complaints filed in 2009." The move is in response to a Colorado Open Records Request from the nonprofit group and in light of a judge's decision last week that said the government ethics panel can't keep other documents from public view.
An ethics watchdog group wants a judge to overturn a ruling by the state's top ethics panel that says it's OK for a Colorado lawmaker to accept a trip to Turkey from a Aurora-based cultural foundation, claiming the ruling violates a gift ban in the state constitution.
A judge on Thursday ordered Colorado's top ethics panel to turn over records it went to court to keep secret, including letters from lawmakers and government employees asking for guidance on ethical questions.
The watchdog group that filed ethics charges against former Secretary of State Mike Coffman said Thursday it won't appeal a ruling by the state's top ethics panel that dismissed a complaint alleging the Aurora Republican, who has since won election to Congress, crossed ethical boundaries when he served as the state's top elections officer. Instead, Colorado Ethics Watch called on Coffman and his attorney to help "create a more thorough, accessible and transparent process" for the Independent Ethics Commission to investigate and resolve ethics complaints. The nonprofit group slammed the five-member ethics panel, saying it "shirked its constitutional responsibility to conduct an investigation" and tied the hands of lawyers arguing both sides of the case.
Ernest Luning continues the discussion this morning on our exclusive reporting on improprieties by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission that continues to repeatedly hold secretive, closed-door meetings. The state's top ethics panel Friday denied the Colorado Independent's request for recordings of 14 illegally convened meetings just this year that appear to violate state Open Meetings Law. Ironically, the commission was established in 2006 when voters passed Amendment 41 to demand greater transparency and accountability in government. Tune into KGNU-88.5 FM Boulder/1390 AM Denver at 8:05 a.m. or listen on the livestream.
TCI's own Ernest Luning will appear on the Jay Marvin Show today at 9:00 a.m. MDT to discuss our on-going investigation of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission and its penchant for flouting Open Meetings Law. Join the AM 760 livestream at the "Listen Up" link. Bonus track: The Coloradoan's Bob Moore is chatting now about the open meetings lawsuit filed by the Fort Collins-based paper, the Pueblo Chieftain and the Colorado Independent last week against the Colorado State University Board of Governors. We have requested a Larimer County judge review recordings of board meetings to determine whether violations occurred during its secretive, closed-door selection of the CSU system chancellor.
The state's top ethics panel formally denied a request for recordings of 14 secret meetings held this year that The Colorado Independent alleges violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law. The Independent is seeking access to audiotapes or minutes of closed-door sessions held between January 14 and April 21 by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission, arguing they are public records because the secret enclaves were illegally convened.