Denver is challenging its own ethics board over ‘all in the family’ gift disclosures

Colorado Public Radio: Can a city influence itself?

That’s a question the Denver Board of Ethics has asked since November when board members decided that substantial gifts from city agencies to members of the City Council or the mayor’s office required public reporting.

One of those agencies is Denver International Airport. The City Council, in particular, has approval authority over billions of dollars in DIA contracts, so the ethics board said it’s in the best interests of the public to disclose gifts from the airport.

But the Denver City Attorney challenged that opinion, saying the city is one family, and council members and other city employees shouldn’t have to disclose gifts from within that family.

Board of Ethics members seemed unmoved by the attempt to scale back the reporting requirements. At the board’s January meeting, they indicated there would be only minor changes to their original opinion, which will be released to the public as soon as next week.

Board of Ethics Chair Patrick Tooley has asked pointed questions of Assistant City Attorney Tracy Davis. At the previous December meeting, he asked that if it’s true the city is one big family — and disclosing large gifts shouldn’t be required — then does it also follow, “that there’s no financial limitation that would apply…it could be a $5,000 gift or a $5,000 solicitation?”

Visit Colorado Public Radio for more.

Subscribe to Our Blog