Today, the Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) dismissed Compass Colorado’s ethics complaint against liberal Governor John Hickenlooper. The complaint alleged that Hickenlooper used state staff to plan a Democratic Governors Association (DGA) fundraiser and for accepting gifts in excess of the amount allowed by Colorado’s Amendment 41.
The vote to dismiss was four to one. Former Republican state Rep. Matt Smith was the lone voice of dissent. Shocking. Or not – because the commission is comprised of Democratic-loving folks. First, we have two former Democratic state legislators – former Rep. Rosemary Marshall and Sen. Bob Bacon. Each has given money to Governor Hickenlooper. Then, we have Bill Leone who also gave money to Hick and also was appointed to this position by Hick. Coincidence? TBD.
With all of these sticky conflicts of interest, one would think that the conflicted members of the commission would recuse themselves. But, they had the opportunity to do so and did not. Compass Colorado filed a change of venue request to move the hearings from the IEC to an administrative law judge. The IEC denied the request.
The dismissal is the latest in a string of questionable ethics in this fairness theater that the IEC has tried to perpetuate. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the IEC investigator had released a draft of the investigators’ report to the Hickenlooper administration before anyone else had the opportunity to see it.
There is no word yet on whether Compass Colorado will appeal the ruling.