Ethics Watch Seeks Disclosure of Stapleton, Gessler Employment
Today, Ethics Watch sent Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests to State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, and Attorney General John Suthers requesting information relating to the outside employment of Walker Stapleton while he is State Treasurer and Scott Gessler while he is Secretary of State, specifically any employment agreement or consulting contract.
“There’s no question that the planned moonlighting by Scott Gessler raises serious questions about conflict of interest, but we don't want to lose sight of potentially serious conflicts possible in Walker Stapleton's employment as well.” said Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch. “At the very least, the public has a right to know the terms of his arrangement. When employees who work for the Treasurer or Secretary of State want to get a second job, they need permission from their boss. In this case, the Treasurer's boss and the Secretary of State’s boss is the Colorado voter. As the employers of Treasurer Stapleton and Secretary of State Gessler, voters deserve to know the terms of their outside employment arrangements.”
On January 21, the Denver Business Journal reported that Secretary of State Scott Gessler plans to do contract legal work for The Hackstaff Law Group, formerly known as Hackstaff Gessler, where Secretary Gessler was employed prior to taking office. Additional news reports have revealed that Stapleton has a consulting arrangement with SonomaWest Holdings, Inc., a public real estate company where he served as president through 2010. Denver's 7News reported that both Stapleton and Gessler have contacted Suthers' office to discuss their plans.
Ethics Watch's open records requests may be viewed under Related Documents on the right hand side of this page.
Update: The Attorney General's office has confirmed that they are not in possession of the requested documents. The response has been posted on the right hand side of the page.
Second Update: The Treasurer and Secretary of State's office both assert they have no public records responsive to the requests. The responses have been posted on the right hand side of the page.