Does liberal Governor John Hickenlooper have toddlers working for him? That’s the sense one gets when a spokesman for Hickenlooper would rather walk away from a question then actually answer something that might be pertinent to the people of Colorado.
In the first of multiple disturbing stories about Hick’s administration in The Denver Post today, it’s revealed the Colorado Department of Human Services has been abusing a waiver system to hire out-of-staters for jobs specifically meant for Coloradans. The most blatant of the violations? Giving a no-bid contract to get an out-of-state worker here, then hiring her as the contract expired saying she was now a Coloradan:
CDHS gave Nikki Hatch, who served under Bicha in Wisconsin as the director of performance and quality assurance, a $72,000, no-bid contract for which she moved into the state, thereby gaining residency.
Eighteen days later, after signing the contract for Hatch to conduct an analysis of strategic outcomes and data, CDHS posted an opening for a deputy director of operations and chief of staff, which noted it was only open to Colorado residents.
In July, a month before the contract was to be completed, Hatch was hired for the position at $138,000 a year under a Senior Executive Services contract. [the Peak emphasis]
It’s obvious that Hickenlooper and his cronies know how bad this looks because they threw up so many road blocks to prevent stories like these from coming out.
“From what I have gathered, very recently our residency waivers have come under scrutiny through a CORA request so (DPA is) going to be more selective on approving these,” wrote CDHS human resources staffer Daryn Ridenour in a March 6 e-mail.
Shouldn’t they have been selective with the waivers the entire time? You must be doing something wrong if you change your behavior only when you know someone is now watching you.
The obfuscation was so bad on this issue, The Post wrote a second article just on the hoops they had to jump through to get this information:
While touting transparency, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s staff delayed access to state appointment records and asked for hundreds of dollars to provide additional documentation of the people who moved from protected to at-will positions.
When asked about the tactics, Hickenlooper spokesman Eric Brown said the requests were not relevant to the state employment system.
…When The Post pressed on the lack of transparency, Brown walked away from the discussion. [the Peak emphasis]
This isn’t the first time that the Hickenlooper administration has acted like a child when pressed by the media. He threatened to cut off media access to 9News and Jace Larson for asking about Hick’s connection to Evan Ebel, the former inmate who murdered the state’s corrections chief, Tom Clements.
Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to see The Denver Post isn’t going to be bullied by Hickenlooper’s administration that has skated too long on his “I’m just a drunk bartender” story. And it looks like Colorado has a new Kyle Clark in Arthur Kane, a man who isn’t afraid to ask tough questions.