Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) sent a letter to Acting Inspector General Richard Delmar asking for an investigation into former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s alleged misuse of taxpayer funds to retain an attorney to defend him against an ethics and personal misconduct complaint.
“The financial abuse allegations being reported by multiple media outlets against former Governor John Hickenlooper are extremely concerning,” Lamborn said in a statement. “Any allegation detailing the misuse of federal taxpayer money should be thoroughly investigated.”
“The Inspector General is a nonpolitical federal law enforcement organization tasked with oversight of federal funds,” Lamborn said. “The Inspector General is the appropriate and respectable organization to conduct a non-partisan investigation of this serious allegation.”
“We cannot allow the potential misuse of federal funds under any circumstances,” Lamborn said.
In November 2019, the Denver Post reported that Hickenlooper’s ethics defense attorney was being paid $525 an hour out of a federal taxpayer fund dedicated to helping the Colorado economy after the 9/11 terrorist attack in 2001. Hickenlooper was also allegedly using those funds to create a $13,000 legacy website before he left office last year.
In June, Hickenlooper was found guilty of violating Colorado’s ethics laws.
“The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to hold the former governor in contempt after he defied a subpoena to testify at a hearing about whether he accepted improper gifts in the form of flights on private corporate jets when he was governor,” the Colorado Sun reported at the time.
To date, the total cost to taxpayers for Hickenlooper’s $525-an-hour lawyer has reached over $133,000, according to the Denver Post.
Republican State Sen. Paul Lundeen has tried to have the federal funds audited at the state level when the reports first broke last year but has so far been unsuccessful.
Hickenlooper is running against Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in the 2020 Senate race.
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