Board of Ethics
July 25, 2002
DENVER BOARD OF ETHICS
MEETING OF JULY 25, 2002
I. Chair Harry MacLean called the meeting to order at 1:45 pm. Members Christopher Weimer, Carolyn Lievers and Denise Maes were also present. Charles Savage was absent.
II. It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to approve the minutes of the June 27, 2002 Board of Ethics meeting.
III. Deputy City Attorney Helen Raabe presented and explained to the Board a proposed ordinance to amend the City’s Financial Disclosure Ordinance (Section 2-70 et seq. of the Revised Municipal Code). The proposal was approved by the City Council Personnel and Public Safety Committee on July 24 and will be considered by the full City Council in the near future. Two items are of interest to the Board of Ethics. First, the new ordinance will make several sections of the Financial Disclosure Ordinance consistent with the Code of Ethics, such as several definitions and the dollar limit for gifts. Second, the ordinance will refer to the Board of Ethics for determination requests by any of 52 Mayoral appointees to keep their financial disclosure forms confidential. The proposed ordinance says that "the Board of Ethics shall adopt written criteria for reviewing such request..." The proposed ordinance, if passed, will not take effect until August 1, 2003.
IV. Staff Director Michael Henry supplemented his written report to the Board by advising the Board that the new office space for the Board of Ethics in the new Municipal Office Building has been changed to the seventh floor. He also informed the Board that some City departments and agencies have almost completed their delivery of ethics training, some are just starting and some have not yet begun. The next meeting of the Ethics Training Oversight Committee will be August 20, 2002 at 1:00 pm.
V. Judy Schindler, a student intern from the University of Denver, distributed and summarized a written report concerning internal Codes of Ethics or codes of conduct for City Departments or agencies. Twelve agencies or departments indicate that they do have internal written codes (including Career Service Authority, whose rules apply to all City employees, except for Police Department and Fire Department sworn officers). Eighteen agencies or departments indicate that they do not have any internal written codes. Eight agencies have not yet responded as to whether they do or do not have internal written codes. The report categorizes the subject matters covered by the various internal codes and lists which items are stricter than the citywide Code of Ethics.
VI. Carolyn Lievers and Michael Henry presented a draft of Proposed Goals for 2003 for Board of Ethics. The Board members were in informal agreement with the seven proposed goals. Chair Harry MacLean directed that a specific action plan should be presented to the Board at its August 22, 2002, meeting, to indicate 1) by whom, 2) when and 3) how each of the goals will be accomplished. Professor Roy Wood of the University of Denver offered to assist the Board with regard to improving of public information about the Code of Ethics.
VII. Assistant Fire Chief Steve Winters (newly promoted) explained to the Board his reasoning for his new request for an advisory opinion. The request seeks guidance as to whether Assistant Chief Winters may accept travel and lodging expenses for conferences sponsored by manufacturers or vendors who do business with the City. He explained his belief that, in his new assignment to the Office of Emergency Management, he is no longer "in a position to take direct official action" with regard to the manufacturers or vendors.
VIII. Denise Maes and Christopher Weimer moved and seconded to go into executive session to deliberate on Cases 02-30, 02-31 and 02-32. The motion passed unanimously.
IX. The meeting adjourned at 3:45 pm.
Approved by Board of Ethics: August 22, 2002.