The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission will proceed to investigate some, but not all, of a former Republican lawmaker’s complaints about travel and gifts provided to then-Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2018.
The state panel voted unanimously Monday to look at five travel-related gifts. It dismissed three others filed by former Speaker of the House Frank McNulty and his Public Trust Institute.
They decided to postpone action on a Hickenlooper motion to dismiss the complaint in its entirety until after the investigation is completed.
McNulty’s complaint alleges that Hickenlooper violated state ethics laws.
The claims that the commission will investigate are:
• Travel June 7-10, 2018, to Turin, Italy, for the Bilderberg Meeting of international political, business and academic leaders. The commission decided to dismiss part of that claim after Hickenlooper provided credit card statements showing he had paid for all expenses except the conference itself. Hickenlooper attorney Mark Grueskin noted that the conference charged no fees to attend, but it was paid for by Fiat Chrysler, and Hickenlooper accepted meals and car travel provided during the conference. That part of the claim remains.
• Travel last March 15 for the commissioning of the USS Colorado. He flew on a private jet owned by Colorado businessman Larry Mizel, head of homebuilder M.D.C. Holdings.
• Travel Jan. 10, 2018, between New Jersey and Colorado, on a private jet owned by personal friend Kenneth Tuchman, founder of Colorado outsourcing company TTEC. Hickenlooper went to New Jersey to be with his wife, Robin, who was having a medical procedure. He returned via private jet to make his final State of the State.
• Travel Aug. 13, 2018, to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for an American Enterprise Institute conference on a plane owned by Hickenlooper’s chief of staff, Patrick Murphy.
• Travel April 8-10, 2018, to Texas to officiate at the wedding of friend Kimbal Musk, on a jet owned by Musk, who co-founded The Kitchen Restaurant Group and is the brother of Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
The commission dismissed the complaints for which Hickenlooper showed credit card receipts, statements or both, including the travel and hotel costs for Bilderberg, an Aug. 10, 2018, trip to Aspen and a Sept. 6, 2018, trip to Canada.
The panel also dismissed all claims that took place before Oct. 12, 2017. It limits its jurisdiction to the 12 months preceding the filing of the complaint.