Denver auditor finds serious deficiencies in ethics board, gift reporting

Colorado Politics: Denver Auditor Timothy O’Brien found in a new report that Denver’s volunteer board that hears ethics complaints and determines if acts violate the city’s ethics code suffers from lack of enforcement powers and inability to take complaints anonymously.

“Managers of individual city agencies are responsible for enforcing action on ethics violations,” O’Brien’s office explained. “These deficiencies could hurt the city’s ethical environment.”

In a survey question that 1,237 city employees responded to, 41% said that they had observed unethical behavior and did not report it to the board. They cited fear of retaliation and the expectation of no corrective action taken as the most common justifications for non-reports.

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