The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has ruled that former Democrat governor John Hickenlooper violated the state’s constitutional gift ban.
John Hickenlooper was the 42nd governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. As he was constitutionally limited to two consecutive terms, Hickenlooper could not run for governor in 2018.
Colorado Sun reports former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper violated the state’s constitutional gift ban by accepting private flights aboard company jets owned by his friends, an ethics panel decided Friday.
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission decided his flight aboard a plane owned by MDC Holdings, a Colorado-based homebuilder led by top political donor Larry Mizel, and a pair of private dinners related to the USS Colorado celebration in Connecticut amounted to a violation.
“If we allow this kind of special privately financed treatment for elected officials it just accentuates the cynicism in the public that led to Amendment 41,” said Bill Leone, a commission member and a former U.S. attorney.
The commission voted unanimously to reject a second element of the complaint about a private flight Hickenlooper took from New Jersey to Colorado because it qualified as a gift from a friend. He rode on a plane owned by a company connected to Ken Tuchman, a billionaire technology entrepreneur.
One of the commissioner’s said Hickenlooper’s testimony helped lead them to acquit him on that count.
The commission is still deliberating four other complaints about flights on private planes and his attendance at an exclusive conference in Italy.
The verdict came after a two-day hearing on a complaint filed by a conservative organization and testimony from Hickenlooper, who snubbed a subpoena to testify the first day and the commission held him in contempt.