Ethics Handbook

About the Handbook

We are pleased to introduce this updated Ethics Handbook for the City and County of Denver published by the Denver Board of Ethics. The handbook is one tool with which we want to work with all of you to strive for excellence and the highest ethical standards in our work for the citizens of Denver. We respect and thank all of you for your hard work and dedication and we trust that you share our belief that a great city government must start with a fundamental commitment to ethics.

This handbook includes the Denver Code of Ethics (originally adopted in 1965, significantly amended in 2001 and amended again between 2004 and today), case studies, representative opinions from the Denver Board of Ethics and other useful ethics-related information. We encourage you to review this handbook now and consult it whenever you encounter ethical questions and issues. We also encourage you to confer with the Board of Ethics, others in your agency or the City Attomey·s Office as ethical issues arise.

As stated in Ethical Principles for Public Servants ( 1992, Council for Excellence in Government):

Public service is a public trust. The highest obligation of every individual in government is to fulfill that trust. Each person who undertakes the public trust assumes two paramount obligations:

  • To serve the public interest; and
  • To perform with integrity. We thank you for your commitment to these ethics.

What is covered in the handbook?

  • Employment and supervision of family members
  • Gifts to city personnel
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Prior employment for city personnel
  • Outside employment or outside business activity for city personnel
  • Subsequent employment for city personnel
  • Use of public office for private gain
  • Use of confidential records

View the Ethics Handbook(PDF, 1MB)