Eye on the IEC 2010

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Colorado Ethics Watch has been actively monitoring the activities of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission (“IEC”) since the IEC first met in 2008. To provide an independent source of information about IEC activities, Ethics Watch has compiled this chronology of IEC activities and related documents submitted to or produced by the IEC. 

Dec. 15, 2010

The IEC releases its draft proposd rules to be considered at a public hearing on January 19, 2011. Statement of basis and purpose.  Proposed rules.

Dec. 10, 2010
The IEC approved a draft set of revised rules to be released for public comment.  The IEC also determined to proceed with hearings on Complaints 10-05 and 10-06 during 2011.

Nov. 18, 2010

The IEC met to discuss possible rule changes and received updates on the investigations of Complaints 10-05 and 10-06.

Nov. 5, 2010

Appearing before the IEC are John Huggins, Cole Finegan and Jeff Dolan on behalf of the transition team for Governor-elect Hickenlooper, and Senator Evie Hudak.  The IEC approves Advisory Opinion 10-18 (fundraising for the gubernatorial transition) and 10-19 (payment for travel on NCSL-sponsored trip)

Oct. 7, 2010

The IEC approved a budget request for the next fiscal year, discussed revisions to the complaint process, and approved Advisory Opinion 10-17.  It also received updates on the investigations of Complaints 10-05 and 10-06.

Sept. 16, 2010

The IEC approved Advisory Opinion 10-14 (Colorado Channel luncheon).

Sept. 13, 2010

 The IEC discussed advisory opinion requests and complaints and approved Letter Ruling 10-02 (contract involving former employee of HCPF). Letter ruling request

Sept. 1, 2010

The IEC approved Advisory Opinion 10-15 (future employment) and discussed requests 10-14 (Colorado Channel fundraiser) and 10-16 (interest in contract involving former employer)

Aug. 30, 2010

The IEC discussed advisory opinion requests 10-14 (Colorado Channel fundraiser) and 10-15 (future employment).

Aug. 19, 2010

The IEC voted not to issue an advisory opinion on request no. 10-13.  It voted to make a slight revision to Advisory Opinion 10-11 (travel paid by a foreign government).  It also approved Advisory Opinion 10-07 regarding the organization and funding of the Colorado Legislative Women's Caucus.  Ethics Watch Director Luis Toro addressed the IEC regarding the rulemaking process, and Senator Pat Steadman addressed the IEC regarding an advisory opinion request (No. 10-14) from the General Assembly regarding an event to be hosted by the Colorado Channel.

July 15, 2010

Meeting of the IEC.  The IEC approves Advisory Opinion 10-11, ruling that a legislator could not accept payments for travel from a foreign municipality for a trade mission on behalf of Colorado businesses when the benefit of the trip would inure to the benefit of the legislator.

July 1, 2010

In its first meeting since moving to the Judicial Branch, the IEC discussed several key issues related to its procedural rules, including the definition of a "frivolous" complaint and the conduct of the investigation and hearing.   The IEC also approved Advisory Opinion 10-12, holding that under Section 3(3)(f) of Article XXIX of the Colorado Constitution, a state employee may not accept payments for a trip to Turkey from a nonprofit that receives more than 5% of its funding from for-profit sources.

June 17, 2010

The IEC approves Advisory Opinion 10-08, approving a proposed contract to be entered into by a retiring Red Rocks Community College professor, and Advisory Opinion 10-10, approving a request by the Governor and others to accept travel expenses to Israel from a non-profit that receives less than 5% of its funding from non-profit sources.

June 10, 2010

Governor Ritter signs HB 10-1404, which moves the IEC to judicial branch and makes other changes to the IEC's facilitating statute.

May 31, 2010

The Denver District Court enters an order granting the parties' joint motion to dismiss the Developmental Pathways case, ending the constitutional challenge to Amendment 41 filed in 2007.  Order.

May 26, 2010

The IEC approves a statement of decision regarding its dismissal of Complaint 10-01 against Senator John Morse.  It also approves Letter Ruling 10-01, ruling that legislators could not accept a gift of travel from a water education nonprofit (letter ruling request).

May 20, 2010

The IEC discusses the logistics of its anticipated move to the judicial branch.  It also votes 4-0 to dismiss Complant 10-01 against Senator John Morse as groundless.

May 18, 2010

The IEC and the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of Amendment 41 file a joint motion to dismiss the Developmental Pathways litigation without prejudice.

May 11, 2010

House Bill 10-1404, which would move the IEC to the judicial branch for administrative purposes, receives final approval by the House and Senate.

April 22, 2010

The IEC approves Advisory Opinion 10-06, rejecting a legislator's request to receive a gift of travel from a for-profit entity to attend a conference. Commissioners Hopper and Grossman testify before the House Judiciary Committee in favor of House Bill 10-1404, which would move the IEC to the Judicial branch for administrative purposes.  The committee voted in favor of the bill.

April 19, 2010

The IEC approves Advisory Opinion 10-04, regarding an employee assistance program, and Advisory Opinion 10-05, regarding the Attorney General's participation in the taping of public service announcements.   The IEC directs staff to investigate the allegations of Complaint 10-01.  The IEC dismissed Complaints 10-02 and 10-03 for lack of jurisdiction and 10-04 as frivolous.  The IEC also approves a written summary of decision on Complaint 09-08 (Burns).

Mar. 11, 2010

The IEC holds a hearing on Complaint 09-08 and votes 5-0 to find no ethical violation by Respondent Rex Burns.

Mar. 10, 2009

Brandon O'Dell files Complaint 10-01 against state Senator John Morse.

Feb. 11, 2010
The IEC approves Advisory Opinion 10-02, regarding travel paid by the federal government, and Advisory Opinion 10-03, regarding the National Governors Conference.

Feb. 4, 2010

The IEC discussed requests for advisory opinions on gift issues, reviewed draft job descriptions of staff members, and considered scheduling a rulemaking proceeding regarding jurisdiction for spring 2010.  The IEC discussed a draft bill that would transfer the IEC to judicial offices, and expressed concerns regarding Senate Bill 10-099, which would address travel paid for by joint governmental organizations, which was the subject matter of Position Statement 10-01.  The IEC also approved the issuance of subpoenas for the March 11 hearing of Complaint 09-08.

Jan. 6, 2010

The IEC approved Position Statement 10-01, regarding the classification of "government exchange organizations" as nonprofits for purposes of the gift ban exemption in Section (3)(3)(f) of Article XXIX of the Colorado Constitution, with a dissent from Commissioner Smith.  The IEC approved Advisory Opinion 10-01, regarding acceptance of a prize by a government attorney.  The IEC set a March 11 hearing date on Complaint 09-08.  The IEC also discussed the job descriptions for its two staff members and considered holding two rounds of rulemaking during 2010, one to focus on jurisdictional matters and another to focus on complaint procedures.