Ethics Commission Will Probe Five Complaints Against Hickenlooper, But Dismisses Three

<p>Hasrt Van Denburg/CPR News</p>
<p>Gov. John Hickenlooper during an interview Jan. 3, 2019 at Wynkoop Brewing in Denver. Hickenlooper co-founded the brewery in 1988. He exits the governor&#039;s office in a few days.</p>
Photo: Hickenlooper Wynkoop 3 HV 20190103
Gov. John Hickenlooper during an interview Jan. 3, 2019 at Wynkoop Brewing in Denver. Hickenlooper co-founded the brewery in 1988. He exits the governor's office in a few days.

The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission voted Monday to investigate five complaints involving travel and gifts to former Gov. John Hickenlooper while passing on three others, Colorado Politics reports.

The investigation involves travel Hickenlooper made between September 2017 and September 2018. The complaint was filed by former Republican Speaker of the House Frank McNulty and his Public Trust Institute. You can read a copy of the complaint here.

Colorado Politics said the commission also postponed a move by Hickenlooper to dismiss the complaint in its entirety until the conclusion of its investigation.

Amendment 41, a 2006 state constitutional amendment, bans gifts to elected state officials in exchange for services. For other freebies, a strict gift limit of $59 applies, with certain exceptions, to state elected officials.

The PTI complaint focused on:

  • A January 2018 private jet flight to the Meridian Executive Terminal in Teterboro, New Jersey.
  • The March 2018 commissioning of the USS Colorado Navy submarine in Connecticut: PTI said Colorado-based M.D.C. Holdings paid for Hickenlooper’s private air travel and hotel accommodations.
  • The June 2018 Bilderberg Meetings in Turin, Italy: The costs of his flight to Italy, luxury hotel accommodations, meals and gifts, and ride in a Maserati limousine.
  • An August 2018 private flight from Dallas, Texas to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to attend the American Enterprise Institute’s Jackson Hole Symposium.

The complaint also raises questions about Hickenlooper’s redacted details of private travel from an Aspen Institute event in August, and September travel from Montreal airport.

The commission dismissed parts of the complaint where Hickenlooper could show credit card receipts, including travel and hotel costs for the Turin and Montreal trips. It also chose not to consider travel further back than a year before the complaint was filed.