Ethics Investigation Into Former Gov. Hickenlooper’s Travel Gifts Continues

· Feb. 12, 2019, 1:42 am
Photo: Hickenlooper Wynkoop 2 HV 20190103Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Gov. John Hickenlooper gestures during an interview Jan. 3, 2019 at Wynkoop Brewing in Denver. Hickenlooper co-founded the LoDo brewery in 1988. He exits the governor's office in a few days.

An attempt to dismiss an ethics complaint against former Gov. John Hickenlooper failed in front of Colorado's Ethics Commission on Monday.

Commissioners will instead move forward with their investigation into whether Hickenlooper improperly accepted free lodging and travel on private jets, a violation of state laws against corporate gifts.

The complaint was filed last fall by a group headed by Frank McNulty, former Republican Speaker of the state House. McNulty alleged a pattern of improper travel dating back over years, but the Commission decided to limit its scope to just trips between September 2017 and September 2018.

“They'll find what we found,” McNulty said Monday of the Commission’s investigation. “John Hickenlooper accepted illegal gifts and it wasn't just a one time thing. It was a pattern of illegal activity during his time as governor.”

Hickenlooper has dismissed the complaints as a political stunt. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on Monday’s decision in time for this story.

Voters added Amendment 41 to the state constitution in 2006. It bans giving gifts to elected state officials in exchange for services. For other freebies, a strict gift limit applies, with certain exceptions, to state elected officials. reports the Commissioners voted Monday to raise that cap to $65, an inflation-adjustment the panel is tasked with making every four years.

The investigation comes as the former governor is in the final stages of deciding whether to run for President. He plans to travel New Hampshire — an early primary state — later this week.

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