Pencils and wit sharpened, coffee percolating, and we are ready to take on the Hickenlooper administration’s first official scandal of 2015 – the corruption of the state’s Yoga bureaucracy.
The existence of such a regulatory officialdom was brought to light recently after yoga teachers complained that Hickenlooper’s yoga pants brigade was cracking down on instructors who were not state certified.
Now the Denver Post reveals there is a serious conflict of interest inside the Division of Private Occupational Schools that is headed by director Lorna Candler — she’s also a yoga instructor.
This is not going over well in the yoga community, where concerns are mounting that Candler’s other job as an instructor for CorePower Yoga means she will be biased against studios not connected with Colorado’s largest yoga chain.
The Post reports that the pushback from yoga instructors has forced the division to hold off on resolving the regulation until its board meeting later next month.
However, none of this comes as a surprise to the Hickenlooper administration. Although Candler failed to publicly disclose the conflict of interest, turns out her employer knew all about it.
“Ms. Candler signed a conflict of interest form at the time of her employment with the department disclosing her occasional employment as a yoga teacher,” the Colorado Department of Higher Education said in a statement. “To avoid even any perception of a conflict, she handed the day-to-day oversight of the issue to her deputy, Mary Kanaly.”
Candler also spoke to the Post and defended her regulatory role, or lack thereof:
Candler argued that her role as a yoga instructor does not conflict with her position as director of the regulatory agency pushing for uniform regulation of teacher-training programs. Regulation requires program operators to pay fees to the state, which some smaller studios feel are prohibitive.
“What goes on with me teaching yoga and my job here do not really intersect at all,” Candler said. “This is not about yoga; this is about teacher-training programs.”
Wrong Candler, it’s about government over-regulation and the burdens it puts on smaller mom and yogi shops struggling to compete in the marketplace.
It’s also about public disclosure of a public servant (that’s you, Candler) who has a conflict of interest between her government job, and her other job that government seeks to regulate.
Meditate on that.