Ethics Watch: Gessler Must Sever Law Firm Ties
Today, Colorado Ethics Watch called on Secretary of State Scott Gessler to sever all remaining ties with the law firm that until recently bore his name. The Denver Business Journal reported that Gessler plans to work twenty hours a month as a contract attorney for the firm.
“The appearance of conflict is obvious when Gessler is getting paid by a law firm that regularly conducts business with the Secretary of State,” said Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro. “But the potential ethics problems in this arrangement go far beyond that. Attorney-client privilege issues and the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality to his clients will make it very difficult for the public to monitor the proposed arrangement. Secretary of State is an important job and Coloradans are entitled to expect the Secretary to give his undivided attention to his office’s work. It’s fine to have a dialogue about whether our public servants should be better paid, but if he didn’t want to work for the salary being offered he shouldn’t have applied for the job. We urge Secretary Gessler to sever all ties with the firm immediately.”