The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) charged former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) with violating state ethics laws.
The ethics commission ruled that Hickenlooper, a U.S. Senate candidate, violated state ethics laws when he allowed large corporations to cover the cost of a private jet trip to Connecticut, a Maserati limousine ride, as well as several elegant dinners in 2018.
The commission ruled unanimously that Hickenlooper violated Colorado’s gift ban in June 2018 when he attended secretive Bilderberg meetings in Italy. Hickenlooper paid a fee of $1,500, believing that covered the cost of the hotel, limousine, meals, and other expenses. The event’s sponsor, Fiat-Chrysler, said the $1,500 fee did not cover the limousine rides.
The IEC ruled 4-1 that the former governor violated Amendment 41 by accepting a flight and expensive dinners from MDC Holdings in March 2018.
Commissioner Bill Leone said before the vote, “I’m concerned that if we allow this kind of special, privately financed treatment for elected officials, it just accentuates the cynicism that led to Amendment 41.”
The commission will meet on June 12 to decide what penalties the former governor will face for the two ethics violations. This will also include his contempt violation for failing to show up after he was subpoenaed regarding his ethics violations.
Melissa Miller, Hickenlooper’s campaign spokesperson, said that special interests had hijacked the ethics process to attack the former Colorado governor.
“We fully expect the special interests who’ve exploited this process to continue to mislead Coloradans with negative attacks because they know John Hickenlooper will be an independent voice in the U.S. Senate,” Miller said.
Hickenlooper faces a primary election against Andrew Romanoff on June 30 for the U.S. Senate Democrat primary. Hickenlooper hopes to unseat Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).
Joe Jackson, a spokesman for the Colorado GOP, said in a statement on Friday, “The IEC made clear today that no one is above the law, not even a former governor. Coloradans should think twice before voting for a man found guilty of several ethics abuses.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said that Hickenlooper broke Coloradans’ trust in him by violating ethics laws.
She said in a statement on Friday, “Hickenlooper has spent the last week refusing to testify, ignoring subpoenas, and being found in contempt because he didn’t want to answer for his serious disregard for Colorado’s ethics laws,” further asserting that “he is guilty of shrugging off the state’s ethics rules and violating the trust taxpayers had placed in him as Governor.
“Now he has to defend taxpayers footing the bill for his $525-an-hour lawyer out of a post-9/11 economic recovery fund,” she added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.