The Democratic Presidential hopeful, John Hickenlooper, who was a former Gov. in Colorado, was discovered by the state ethics investigation to be guilty on 2 charges of ethics violation.
The investigation’s roots were based on his trail of accepting private jet flights while in the post as a Gov. is a violation of state law.
Hickenlooper reportedly took a flight on a “corporate jet” in possession of a political activist who later only accepted a ride in a limousine (Maserati) during a conference in Italy.
Hickenlooper accepted a ride aboard a corporate jet from a high positioned political sponsor and accepted a limousine ride (Maserati) during a conference in Italy; therefore, the ethics panel ruled that former Gov. John Hickenlooper violated state law.
Another 3 private jet flights aboard company aircraft owned by peers did not breach the state’s constitutional ban on public officials receiving “gifts.”
C.I.E.C. (Colorado Independent Ethics Commission) invalidated the elements of the charges after evaluating that the transportation is under the law since it was for the benefit to the state and a gift from a friend.
The final decision for the case— the state’s highest-profile ethics trial since 2006— was made after 2 days of the hearing. It began theatrically with Hickenlooper declining to be held in contempt and testifying. The commission postponed the verdict for the contempt charge and violations to June 12.
“If we allow this kind of special privately financed treatment for elected officials, it just accentuates the cynicism in the public that led to Amendment 41,” explained Bill Leone, a former U.S. attorney and a member of the commission.
Hickenlooper is campaigning to be the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. The primary vote is June 30.
The Public Trust Institute launched the complaint against Hickenlooper. After first having refused to appear before the commission, he contended his acceptance of the gifts as part of his effort to bring economic development to Colorado.
Hickenlooper rode on a private plane owned by Colorado homebuilder MDC Holdings to commission the Navy’s U.S.S. Colorado submarine in 2018. The commission decided, 4-1, that the plane ride violated the limits for gifts set by voters.
The other violation, by unanimous vote, concerned Hickenlooper’s travel to the exclusive Bilderberg meetings in Turin, Italy. The Sun report said Hickenlooper was photographed on the trip riding in a Maserati limousine to the airport. The former governor said he didn’t notice. The report noted that while other charges were rejected, the commission felt uneasy about his consenting to the travel.
“What I see is an uncomfortable creep to find more and more friends and more special occasions,” said Yeulin Willett, a commission member.
KDVR-TV in Denver reported Colorado law, at the time of the infractions, banned gifts worth more than $59 to elected officials.