The ethics board meets Wednesday to hear a complaint against Mayor Hancock, who hypocritically boarded an airplane south for Thanksgiving just moments after warning everyone else against holiday travel to stop the spread of COVID.

Hancock has already responded to the complaint filed by a Denver resident. He’s insisting that at no time did he violate the code of ethics.

Hancock’s action might not have violated specific rules like accepting pricey gifts, using the office for personal gain, or awarding contracts to relatives. 

But we can’t help notice the very first sentence of the city’s code of ethics, which states:

It is the intent of the city that its officers, officials, and employees adhere to high levels of ethical conduct, honesty, integrity and accountability, so that the public will have confidence that persons in positions of public responsibility are acting for the benefit of the public. 

That appears to be exactly what Hancock violated when he issued this tweet from the passenger loading area at DIA on his way to spend Thanksgiving with his daughter in Mississippi.

Hancock wrote in his response to the ethics board that he regretted his decision to travel over the holiday.

“It was a mistake for which I have taken responsibility and apologized to the people of Denver.”

It’s interesting Hancock now concedes he made a mistake, because that’s not at all what he said after he was busted.

He totally defended his action and basically told Denver to deal with it.

“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel. I have shared how my family cancelled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a job. As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver.”


“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone. As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel. I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”