Colo. Spgs. mayor and council advised to adopt rules for documenting freebies

From the Colorado Springs Independent: If someone is buying Mayor Steve Bach fancy meals or paying for his rounds of golf, it might be nice to know. But Colorado Springs residents have been denied that knowledge because of a giant loophole: The city’s ethics code doesn’t explain how such gifts and honoraria (or speaking fees) are to be reported.

The Independent discovered as much in late October, when it asked for any such reports covering the last 18 months, and was told none existed. Since then, the offices of the City Attorney and City Clerk have recommended the six-year-old ethics code be amended “to provide more specific direction regarding the timing, format and manner of gift documentation.”

That’s important because, as Colorado Ethics Watch executive director Luis Toro says, “You can’t have meaningful ethics oversight unless there’s some disclosure.”

Through the years, local and state elected officials have been on the receiving end of rounds of golf, elegant dinners and expensive trips.

In 2010, for instance, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa reported receiving $3,144.78 for teaching a week-long course for Penn State in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Visit the Colorado Springs Independent for more.

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