Colorado Democratic governor violated state's gift rules, ethics commission finds

He accepted a private jet trip, lavish meals

Published: June 6, 2020 12:33pm

Updated: June 6, 2020 1:03pm

Former Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper violated his state's gift rules twice, the state's ethics commission has determined, declaring that the governor had accepted "special, privately financed treatment" during his tenure at the head of his state. 

Hickenlooper, who was governor from 2011 to 2019, violated those rules when he rode a private plane to a Connecticut event and when he accepted luxury meals and other gifts during a conference in Italy. 

The former governor, who is now running for the U.S. Senate, was subject to a three-hour hearing by the ethics panel this week over the violations. The commission dismissed four other complaints against the politician. 

The ethics panel will meet next week to determine the size of the penalty Hickenlooper will have to pay. State guidelines stipulate that each violation should be repaid at twice the amount of its worth. 

The politician may also face sanctions for defying a subpoena ordering him to attend the first day of the hearing.

A spokeswoman for Hickenlooper said after the determination that "special interests" have "exploited this process" to attack the governor. The state Republican party, meanwhile, urged residents to "think twice before voting for a man found guilty of several ethics abuses."

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