Board of Ethics
December 20, 2001
DENVER BOARD OF ETHICS
MEETING OF DECEMBER 20, 2001
Chair Harry MacLean called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. Harry MacLean and Christopher Weimer were present. Marcelina Rivera, Charles Savage and Carolyn Leivers were absent. A quorum was not present and therefore no actions could be taken by the Board members present.
Harry MacLean reported that the Board interviewed four candidates for the position of staff director in November. Michael Henry was offered the position and accepted. The Board and Michael Henry hope to complete all the necessary steps to fill the position effective January 1, 2002.
Auditor Don Mares will attend the January 24, 2002 meeting of the Board.
Harry MacLean reported on his attendance at the annual conference of the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL), December 2-5, in Lexington, Kentucky. Approximately 450 persons attended. COGEL is a 25-year-old organization of board members and staff from state, local and federal agencies. Most of the other agencies had broader functions than the Denver Board of Ethics, such as regulation of lobbying, financial disclosure and campaign financing and many have statewide jurisdiction; however, most of the discussion was valuable. Many of the other boards are able to initiate complaints on their own and most of the other boards have their staff conduct the prosecution of a complaint after probable case is found.
Most other jurisdictions have an “abuse of public office” prohibition in the code of ethics, which prohibits the use of public assets or resources or personnel for private gains.
Many discussions were held at the COGEL conference regarding gift provisions. Jurisdictions ran the gamut from no gifts whatsoever being allowed to all gifts are acceptable so long as full disclosure is made. Chair Harry MacLean said that he had obtained copies of other jurisdictions’ regulations regarding the conduct of hearings and he recommended that the Board have a discussion about such rules in February or March.
Ethics Research Project
Spoma Jovanovic, Ph.D. of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Roy Wood, Ph.D. of the University of Denver discussed a grant that they have obtained from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to study the Denver Board of Ethics and the communication about ethics. They wish to study how the City and County of Denver communicates about ethics informally and formally. One aspect of their study will be to assist in evaluating the ethics training to be delivered to all Denver officials, officers and employees. Chair Harry MacLean said that the Board of Ethics will be glad to assist them with their project.
The Board heard a factual presentation from a City employee who had requested an advisory opinion and from a family member. The information was taken under advisement.
It was agreed to set the next Board of Ethics meeting for December 27 at 9 a.m.
The meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m.
L. Michael Henry
Approved by Board of Ethics January 24, 2002.