Colorado ethics panel orders John Hickenlooper to pay $2,750 for two violations |

Colorado ethics panel orders John Hickenlooper to pay $2,750 for two violations

Colorado's former governor was found to have violated the state’s gift ban and was found in contempt for skipping a hearing

Evan Ochsner / Colorado Sun
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks to reporters on Aug. 22, 2019, the day he announced he was running for U.S. Senate.
Jesse Paul / Colorado Sun

Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission on Friday ordered former Gov. John Hickenlooper to pay the state $2,750 for two illegal gifts he accepted while governor.

The panel voted 4-0 to impose a $2,200 fine for a trip to Connecticut on a private jet owned by a top political donor. It then voted 4-1 to impose a separate fine of $550 for a Maserati limousine ride he took in Italy. Commission chairwoman Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa abstained on the first penalty and then cast the lone no vote on the second.

In a two-hour video-conference hearing, the commission also unanimously voted to affirm a contempt finding issued last week when the former governor initially refused to attend its video hearing. But panel members decided not to impose any penalties or seek attorneys’ fees relating to contempt. 

Hickenlooper’s attorney Mark Grueskin had asked the panel to dismiss the contempt issue because Hickenlooper testified the day after he had originally been asked to appear. 

“Some of the arguments that were made and the request to stop the hearing I thought were especially offensive,” commission member Bill Leone said. 

The ethics commission last week determined Hickenlooper violated the state’s constitutional gift ban by accepting flights on private jets and attending an exclusive conference in Italy.

Hickenlooper, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in November, also was found in contempt last week when he defied a subpoena to testify at a hearing. He eventually testified the next day.

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.

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