Encourage and guide city officers, officials and employees to adhere to high levels of ethical conduct so that the public will have confidence that persons in positions of public responsibility are acting for the benefit of the public.
The Board of Ethics wishes to give proper consideration to every request for an advisory opinion or waiver.Therefore, the Board encourages anyone requesting an official advisory opinion or waiver to:
Adopted by the Board of Ethics: June 22, 2006
The Denver Code of Ethics prohibits City officers, employees or officials from accepting travel or lodging expenses under certain circumstances. In that regard, the Denver Board of Ethics has considered several requests for advisory opinions and/or waivers relating to payment for travel or lodging expenses for City employees by organizations other than the City and County of Denver.
To assist you, the Board of Ethics publishes the following guidelines for your use:
While the Board of Ethics has the authority to grant a waiver, it believes that the best interests of the City are served if waivers are not routinely granted. However, the Board of Ethics is prepared in emergency, unusual or exigent circumstances to consider granting waivers. The fact that a City department or agency does not have sufficient budget for travel and lodging expenses is not sufficient to justify the granting of a waiver by the Board of Ethics.
Issued December 2002
Board members are volunteer unpaid positions. Each Board member must be willing to dedicate himself or herself and the necessary professional time to:
Brian J. Spano earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. He has been with the law firm now known as Lewis, Roca Rothgerber since 1987 and specializes in insurance and commercial litigation matters. He was appointed by City Council to a term ending April 20, 2017. He was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Ethics in May 2013 and in May 2014 and Chair in May 2015.
Sylvia S. Smith has been employed with the City and County of Denver in a variety of capacities - from Director of Policy and Research in the Auditor’s Office to her current position as a Program Specialist for the Denver Office of Economic Development, where she manages neighborhood service and facility improvement projects, as well as contracts. She holds a B. A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Denver. She has been active in many organizations including the Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Single Mothers of Color, Inc., National Council of Negro Women, Inc., Denver Section and Colorado Common Cause. She currently serves as a Commissioner for the denver Asian-Pacific American Commission. Appointed by the Mayor and City Council to a term ending June 24, 2017, she was elected Vice-Chair of the Board in May 2015.
Roy V. Wood earned his B.A, M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Denver. He was a Professor and Dean of the School of Communications at Northwestern University from 1972 to 1988. In 1989 he became the first Provost of the University of Denver. In 2006 he chaired a blue-ribbon panel on ethics for the Colorado House of Representatives. The Speaker of the Colorado House appointed him as a member of the first Colorado Independent Ethics Commission and he completed that term in June 2011. He taught classes at D.U. in communications ethics and dialogue and directed dissertations, most of which centered around ethics in organizations and public service. Reappointed by the Mayor. Term expires 4-30-2019. He served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Ethics in 2012 - 2014.
Andrew S. Armatas earned his. B. A. at the University of Colorado at Boulder and his. J. D. from the University of Denver. He served as a Denver Assistant City Attorney, a partner in a Denver law firm, City Attorney for Broomfield and a Denver County Court Judge, retiring in January 2013 after 23 years of service on the bench. During 7 of those years, he served as Presiding Judge of the Denver County Court. He was appointed by the Mayor to a term ending April 30, 2017.
Jane T. Feldman was the Executive Director of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission for nearly six years. Prior to that, she was a First Assistant Attorney General in the Natural Resources Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, and an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Enforcement Section. She began her legal career in the New York County District Attorney’s Office in New York City, where she prosecuted felonies and was a Bureau Chief in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she was an editor of the Law Review, and received her BA with honors in history from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She is an active member of the Colorado Bar Association and served as President of the Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL). She is currently in private law practice, representing local governments on ethics issues.
Summarized opinions given by the Denver Board of Ethics in response to fact-specific requests for advisory opinions or complaints. Access the Digest of Opinions
Board meetings are monthly and are currently held on the third Wednesday of every month, at the Wellington Webb Building, in room 2.D.4. Meetings begin at 8:00 a.m. and last for two hours.
Please check the schedule each month as the dates and times may vary.
All requests for advisory opinions, citizen inquiries or complaints must be submitted either by email or in writing to:
L. Michael Henry
201 West Colfax Avenue # 2H13
Dept 703 (for U.S. mail)
Denver, CO 80202
How to Request Ethical AdviceThe Board of Ethics, if requested, gives official written advisory opinions to city employees, elected officers and board and commission members about Code of Ethics issues... Learn more