Reaction to CORA request: ‘You may want to pour a shot of tequila’

Denver7: Denver Water spent thousands of public dollars crafting a response to a Denver7 investigation into the public utility’s executive team bonuses and spending, internal documents reveal.

In February, Denver7’s investigation revealed Denver Water gave its CEO Jim Lochhead a $337,000 retention bonus disclosed on public water board meeting documents only as an incentive package for a “key employee.” The investigation also revealed that every member of the utility’s ten-person executive team earns a six-figure salary higher than even the salary of Denver’s mayor, and that same executive team spent close to $87,000 in public money on three retreats in 2016 all held in Denver.

Now internal records reveal the utility’s internal strategizing on how to respond to questions about the bonuses and spending.

Sources came to Denver7 last year concerned the company’s executive team spending was out of control and ratepayers were constantly being asked to pay more for water.

Denver7 Investigates sent Denver Water a request for records under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) in December, requesting records of executive team salaries and bonuses, along with records of spending for retreats and details on changes in rates.

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