Denver officials’ gift disclosures requires little detail about giving

From The Denver Post:  Denver’s public officials can accept free meals and sports tickets even when donors might have a contract or other benefit to gain under city ethics rules, but they must disclose those alongside other gifts in an annual report.

However, recent filings for 2014 are inconsistent or at times even scant on details, making it difficult to see a full picture of gift-giving in city government. In part, that’s because the form asks for so little information.

Mayor Michael Hancock, some Cabinet members and some City Council members detail what was given, who gave it and may even estimate the value, sometimes in attached spreadsheets. The gifts listed on their annual financial disclosure statements range from sports and event tickets to commemorative items to seats at luncheon events.

But other officials provide less information.

A few current and recent council members — president Chris Herndon, Albus Brooks and former member Chris Nevitt — simply listed names of gift-givers, the minimum information requested for gifts exceeding $25, without saying what they received.

That is one reason why some ethics advocates are hopeful that the City Council this fall will transfer responsibility for collecting and monitoring those reports to the Board of Ethics from their current home in the clerk and recorder’s office. The board’s members are discussing several other potential changes to the Code of Ethics to recommend to the council, as The Denver Post reported Thursday.

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