Aurora City Council may have violated open meeting laws during DC lobbying trip, press attorney says

Aurora Sentinel: Seven Aurora City Council members traveled to Washington D.C. earlier this month on a lobbying trip with various federal agencies, congressional staffers and White House aides in what some say could be a violation of state open meeting laws.

City staff defended the meeting, saying that despite coordinated discussion about transportation, housing and Buckley Air Force Base, no “public business” was conducted on the trip, making the event immune to Colorado open meeting laws.

Council members Allison Hiltz, Crystal Murillo, Dave Gruber, Charlie Richardson, Johnny Watson, Angela Lawson and Mayor Bob LeGare traveled for three days of meetings, which included stops at multiple members of Congress from Colorado, the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Deputy Director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs.

City spokeswoman Lori MacKenzie said no “public business” was conducted on the trip, likening the trip to a ribbon cutting ceremony that was attended by several council members. “They are there to participate and maybe hear presentations, but they are not discussing public business,” she said in an email to the Sentinel.

The cost of the trip was about $8,000, paid for with city funds.

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