Colorado Springs Orders Reform Team To Correct Violations
After an administrative law judge returned Ethics Watch's request for an investigation of Douglas Bruce and the Reform Team political committee to the City of Colorado Springs for an investigation, City Attorney Patricia Kelly notified all five Reform Team candidates that they must correct their campaign finance disclosures by Friday, April 1 or face penalties for a knowing violation of the Municipal Code.
Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro issued the following statement: "We applaud the City of Colorado Springs for their prompt action once the administrative law judge clarified the City's responsibility to enforce its own home rule campaign finance laws. We call on Douglas Bruce and the other candidates who received the City's notice to promptly comply and bring this matter to a conclusion."
Ethics Watch filed its initial investigation request on March 10, calling the City's attention to the fact that Douglas Bruce, a candidate for Colorado Springs City Council, was the registered agent for the Reform Team political committee and that the five candidates supported by the Reform Team had all failed to register candidate committees or report contributions and expenditures. Under both state law and Colorado Springs municipal ordinance, candidates cannot control political committees. Colorado Springs attempted to refer the request to the Secretary of State, but Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer ruled that the Secretary has no jurisdiction over complaints for violations of a home rule city's campaign finance ordinances. After Judge Spencer's ruling, the City looked into the matter and notified the five candidates of the need to come into compliance or face sanctions.