Board of Ethics
August 26, 2004
DENVER BOARD OF ETHICS
MEETING OF AUGUST 26, 2004
1. Chair Carolyn Lievers called the meeting to order at 1:35 pm. Also present were Charles Savage, Christopher Weimer and Leslie Lawson. Leonard Plank was absent.
2. It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2004 Board of Ethics meeting.
3. Carolyn Lievers and Staff Director Michael Henry reported that the changes proposed by the Board to the Code of Ethics were approved by the City Council Inter-governmental Committee on August 11, were presented to the Mayor-Council meeting on August 17 and will be considered on first reading by City Council on August 30.
4. Troy Eid, the chair of the Colorado Board of Ethics for the executive branch of state government (totaling about 46,000 employees, including higher education employees), discussed with the Board how the state Board operates and how it differs from the Denver Board. He indicated that the state Board has no staff and that elected officials are not subject to the jurisdiction of the state Board. There is a Board of Ethics for the legislative branch established in the Colorado Revised Statutes; however, that Board is “inactive.” He said that much of the work done by the executive branch Board of Ethics is done by telephone conference call. Disclosure of gifts, sources of income, etc., is required by executive order, rather than by statute, and different governors have required different amounts and items to be disclosed. Disclosure forms for about 150 top appointees are public records, but disclosure forms for other state employees are not public records (as opposed to Denver, where all city employee disclosure forms are public records). He said that violation of the state Code of Ethics is a ground for termination in the contracts between the governor and his top appointees. Mr. Eid said that there is a state Whistle-Blower Protection Statute (CRS 24-50.5-101 et seq.) for all state government employees, which was recently upheld by the Colorado Court of Appeals. He said that violations of the state Code of Ethics are subject to criminal prosecution. Board members thanked Mr. Eid for his presentation.
5. Terry Whitney, the recently assigned budget analyst for the Board of Ethics from the Finance Office introduced himself to the Board and discussed the status of the Board’s budget request for 2005.
6. Jim Nimmer of the Career Service Authority’s Training and Organizational Development Division discussed a tentative proposal to include consideration of ethics in the annual performance evaluation for all city employees. Board members expressed support for this proposal, which will need to be reviewed by the Mayor’s Office.
7. Michael Henry distributed a tabulation showing that 97% of city employees subject to the Code of Ethics have completed at least 3 hours of Ethics training through July 31, 2004.
8. June Twinam, who assisted the Board and Career Service Authority in developing and delivering ethics training for city employees, indicated that she is developing a new undergraduate course at Regis University titled Ethical Decision-Making in Government. She would like to schedule a session with some Board members to discuss the role of the Board in a public setting, ethical challenges in the public sector and advice to public sector employees based on the Board’s experience. The Board expressed interest in assisting her in this project.
9. Professor Roy Wood of the University of Denver volunteered that he and some of his students would like to assist the Board to study the perceptions of past participants in Board of Ethics cases through telephone interviews and/or written surveys to gauge the level of satisfaction of participants. The Board indicated that it would welcome such assistance.
10. It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously to go into executive session to deliberate on Cases 04-35 through 04-37.
11. The Board adjourned following the conclusion of the executive session at 3:35 pm.
Approved by Board of Ethics: September 23, 2004