Colo. Rep. Tipton apologizes for daughter's emails

AP News
Posted: May 27, 2011 1:06 PM
Colo. Rep. Tipton apologizes for daughter's emails

Colorado U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton has written a letter of apology to House ethics officers for emails his daughter sent trying to drum up business for her employer.

Tipton's 22-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Tipton, works for Broadnet Inc., a telephone conference provider that serves members of Congress. She sent emails to some lawmakers that mentioned her father.

"I believe it to be an improper use of my name, and I would like to apologize and assure you that it will not happen again," Tipton wrote to Ethics Committee leaders.

Tipton, a freshman Republican whose district includes most of southern and western Colorado, said he did not believe the emails violated ethics rules. But he concluded his letter saying, "If there are any other measures that must be taken in this regard please let me know and I will be happy to do so."

Broadnet is a Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based company owned by Tipton's nephew, Steve Patterson. Broadnet also contracts with a vendor called iConstituent, a company that provides politicians with services such as telephone town hall meetings. The company says more than 300 members of Congress use its services. Tipton spokesman Josh Green confirmed that Tipton is among those members.

Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio accused Tipton of "unprofessionalism" in a statement Friday.

"After five months in office, it's time for Scott Tipton to get control over the functions of his office and start acting like a Congressman," Palacio wrote.

Green insisted Elizabeth Tipton's emails mentioned the congressman only by way of introduction and were indecorous but not illegal.

"It's not an ethical violation, but it was one of those things we took seriously," Green said.

Green said Tipton is awaiting a reply from the Ethics Committee but didn't know how long that would take.