DENVER, CO — An ethics report has been released on former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who’s accused of violating the state constitution’s ban on gifts for public officials.
The results of the probe, which was conducted by the Independent Ethics Committee, show questionable gifts and travel on private corporate jets. The report does not draw conclusions about whether Hickenlooper violated the state’s gift ban.
Former Republican Speaker of the House Frank McNulty accused Hickenlooper of using private jets that were owned by his friend’s corporations.
Hickenlooper’s attorney said the former governor paid for the private jets. The attorney said he has evidence of a $1,000 check that was given to Hickenlooper’s friend Kimbal Musk to reimburse him for a private flight; however, many reports question why the check was made out to a nonprofit.
McNulty also accused Hickenlooper of accepting gifts at a conference in Italy. Hickenlooper’s attorney said the former governor reimbursed the host of the conference $6,000, so the “gifts” were essentially paid for.
Hickenlooper also took a private jet, owned by MDC Holdings, to Connecticut for the commissioning of the USS Colorado, according to the ethics report. Hickenlooper’s friend, Larry Mizel, is the CEO and chairman of MDC Holdings. The company’s lawyers said MDC and Larry Mizel are not the same.
“John Hickenlooper, as a public official, is not allowed to take gifts of any amount from corporations like MDC Holdings,” the company’s lawyers told the Ethics Committee.
If Hickenlooper is found guilty, he will be required to pay three times the value of the gifts.
Both Hickenlooper and McNulty have a week to respond to the ethics report. The Ethics Committee will then hold hearings to decide whether Hickenlooper violated the gifts ban.