Colorado’s Democrat-controlled government has secrets, and the state is paying would-be whistleblowers and in some cases, the alleged wrongdoers, good money to keep quiet about it.

So informs this eye-opening investigative report by The Gazette:

Since 2019, there have been more than 80 settlement agreements with state employees totaling more than $4 million in taxpayer payouts, each with a non-disclosure clause preventing them from discussing it with anyone, records show.


Critics say the agreements are little more than government efforts to prevent the airing of its dirty laundry. The few proponents of the practice say it’s an effective method of trimming the number of potential claims that would be filed if word of the settlements and their dollar amounts were to easily become public.

What in the world is going on within the Polis administration that required $4 million of your dollars to keep quiet?

Thumbing through open records and filing Freedom of Information requests, The Gazette was able to uncover some interesting details of some of the more outrageous payouts.

Like the $183,000 payment to an Education Department finance official to shut up and leave his job after complaining taxpayer funds were being misused.

That’s information the public has a right to know about.

Then there’s the $160,000 payout to a Public Health and Environment official to stop talking about the political connections of some assisted-living facilities that prevented a “lack of enforcement actions.”

Turning a blind eye to the safe care of our elderly and most vulnerable seems most egregious.

We would like to know more about these political connections.

Someone should probably ask Gov. Polis about that.

There are more questionable payouts The Gazette exposed. Too bad it’s beyind a paywall for subscribers only.

We read about it in Colorado Politics here.

The state didn’t deny the employees were required to sign to a non-disclosure agreement to get the settlement.

The response from Attorney General Phil Weiser’s office was that no one was forced to sign the agreement to get a payout bribe settlement.

Like the $50,000 payout to the Parks and Wildlife director plus a year’s salary of nearly $76,000 for his sudden retirement after allegedly making a racially insensitive remark.

Or the seven women given $750,000 to walk away from a lawsuit against the Education Department because of a male employee taking photos up their skirts.

We’re not judging whether or not the settlements were worthy, but spending $4 million of the taxpayers’ dollars to coverup wrongdoing by state employees is itself a major coverup.

This isn’t the transparency Polis promised Coloradans.

The media needs to hold the state’s feet to the fire until they abandoned the use of non-disclosure agreements that only serves to hide the mismanagement of public funds, ongoing corruption, and abuse of employees.