Recently, Colorado Independent reporter Marianne Goodland “scooped” ethical journalists by prematurely reporting about a so-called ethics complaint against Senator Vicki Marble.

Marble hosted a town hall meeting with Extraction Oil and Gas in February at CB Potts near Flatirons Crossing Mall. Marble invited interested residents from Broomfield to learn about oil and gas development, which is happening in Broomfield, and hear about the safeguards in place. The event took place in the evening and residents were treated to appetizers and drinks.

That was too much for anti-energy “community activist” Sarah Hall Mann, who questioned the ethics of hosting such an informative meeting with FREE FOOD. God forbid.

First, the Independent Ethics Commission won’t even disclose if they received a complaint until it determines if the complaint is non-frivolous. The fact that Goodland ran with this story speaks to her credibility and when the complaint is deemed frivolous, still no one will know it was filed and Goodland will have to own her fake news.

Second, this meeting was for everyone, and Extraction was nice enough to pick up the tab for those residents who missed a chance to make dinner at home. Even fractivist Mann was able to attend and admits “she spoke with Extraction representatives for nearly an hour as the rest of the crowd thinned out.” She was afforded this chance to learn more and turns around to file a bogus ethics complaint speaks to her motivations.

Finally, she admits she doesn’t even have any proof. Mann says never saw the bill and estimates that between 50 and 75 people attended. She does her own math to fit her narrative that Marble violated the gift ban. What if CB and Potts donated some of the food and drink or gave a discount? Would that be an illegal gift as well? To make matters worse, Mann is actually an attorney and should know better than filing claims with no proof.

Sadly, this ridiculous story hinges on a single source’s unreliable account of an event. Mann may have gotten a headline, but she cost Goodland any credibility she had as a reporter. Goodland should apologize to Senator Marble and her readers for even covering this.