Board of Ethics
June 26, 2003
DENVER BOARD OF ETHICS
MEETING OF JUNE 26, 2003
1. Chair Charles Savage called the meeting to order at 10:05 am. Also present were Carolyn Lievers, Christopher Weimer, Leslie Lawson and Leonard Plank.
2. Mayor-elect John Hickenlooper addressed the Board and indicated that he expected to return to seek advice on ethical issues as the need might arise in the future. He said that he intends to “empower ethics in city government,” that he wants to “keep the cleanest appearance” for himself and the entire government and that “perceptions are as important as reality.” In particular, Mr. Hickenlooper wished to discuss with the Board his pending request for an advisory opinion, regarding how to deal with any perceived conflicts that might arise from his ownership interests in several restaurants in Denver. He stated that he intends to place his business interests in trust and that he would agree that he would neither communicate with the manager(s) of the businesses about business matters nor communicate directly or indirectly with city employees that might affect his businesses about matters that are specific to any of his businesses. He said that the operation of his businesses will “no longer be in my purview” and that he will expect that city employees should give his businesses “exactly the same treatment” as any similar businesses. Mr. Hickenlooper also said that he will be pleased to have all of his top managers receive the eight hours of ethics training in the program developed by the Board of Ethics and the Career Service Authority Training and Organizational Development office. Charles Savage and other Board members expressed appreciation to the Mayor-elect for his attendance at the meeting.
3. Keith Peetz of the Community Planning and Development Agency presented his request for an advisory opinion or a waiver regarding travel and lodging expenses to be paid by a nonprofit organization.
4. It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to approve the minutes of the Board of Ethics meeting of May 22, 2003.
5. Michael Henry, the Staff Director of the Board of Ethics, supplemented his written report by advising the Board that 75% of all city employees have now completed at least 3 hours of ethics training.
6. The Board discussed a number of possible revisions to the Board’s Rules of Procedure, including removal of references to the Clerk and Recorder’s office as the location where cases should be filed, removal of the statement that advisory opinions should be kept confidential (due to an opinion from the City Attorney’s office that such opinions are open records pursuant to state law) and correction of typographical errors. The Board agreed that the revisions to the Rules should be promulgated for a hearing to receive public comment at the July 24, 2003, Board meeting.
7. The Board considered a number of possible improvements to the Code of Ethics, which, when the Board’s consideration is completed in the next several weeks, will be submitted to the new City Council for its consideration. Pete Maysmith, Executive Director of Colorado Common Cause and Alana Smart, aide to City Councilwoman-at-Large Susan Barnes-Gelt contributed to the discussion and made several suggestions. Deputy City Attorney Helen Raabe and City Council Staff Director John Bennett have advised the Board that they want to be involved in the drafting of any such proposals.
8. It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to go into executive session to deliberate on Cases 03-20, 03-24 and 03-25.
9. The Board adjourned following the conclusion of the executive session at 12:15 pm.
Approved by Board of Ethics on July 24, 2003