Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission has released a report ahead of a hearing to determine whether former Gov. John Hickenlooper's travel violated the Colorado Constitution, according to a report from The Denver Post.
Two complaints against former Gov. Hickenlooper allege that Hickenlooper violated the gift ban in the Colorado Constitution. As the ethics report states, the complaints allege that Hickenlooper "has repeatedly traveled on private airplanes owned by corporations and accepted travel expenses paid for by corporations." The complaints further allege that Hickenlooper "has not publicly reported any of these travel expenses as gifts or reimbursed costs as required by state statute..."
The report contains interview summaries, travel itineraries and other relevant documents related to the ethics investigation, but the report does not draw any conclusions.
(Via The Denver Post)
"The complaint alleged Hickenlooper improperly traveled on private jets to Italy for Bilderberg meetings and to Texas, where he officiated the wedding of Kimbal Musk, brother of entrepreneur Elon Musk, along with several other trips. Due to statutes of limitations, the ethics commission could only investigate Hickenlooper’s actions in 2018, the last year of his governorship.
Ethics investigators interviewed a secretary of the secretive Bilderberg meetings, but withheld her name from their report. The secretary confirmed Hickenlooper attended the 2018 meeting. Hickenlooper has also said he was there but paid for the trip out of his own pocket.
“When asked if there was any relationship between the 2018 Bilderberg Meetings and respondent’s duties as governor, the secretary answered in the negative. Rather, respondent was ‘invited as an interesting American person,'” the report states.
Both sides will have a week to file responses to the report. The next step will be a formal hearing, which has not been scheduled. After the hearing, the ethics commission will reach its conclusions."
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) issued a statement on the ethics investigation into Hickenlooper's travel. NRSC spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said in the statement, "During his time as Governor, John Hickenlooper repeatedly shrugged off basic ethical standards by accepting luxury travel on private planes from his corporate and wealthy 'friends.'"
Hickenlooper had sought the Democratic presidential nomination for president in 2020, but failed to exceed an average of 1 percent in national support. Hickenlooper dropped out of the presidential race in August and declared his run for the U.S. Senate, despite previously stating that he was "not cut out to be a senator."