DENVER — Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is the Democratic frontrunner for the nomination to take on Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020, uncharacteristically did not stop to answer reporters’ questions regarding his ongoing ethics investigation.
FOX31 political reporter Joe St. George noted it is the first time in his four years covering Hickenlooper that he did not stop to answer questions from members of the Colorado Capitol press.
VIDEO: I have covered @Hickenlooper for 4 years. Today was the first time he refused to talk to me after an event. I wanted to ask about the ethics investigation. #copolitics #cosen #kdvr #fox31 pic.twitter.com/dtd9RYAmbo
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) November 21, 2019
Earlier this week, the Denver Post first reported Hickenlooper’s ethics investigation has cost taxpayers over $43,000 with a private attorney being paid to advocate on behalf of Hickenlooper’s interests.
While it is common for officials to have their legal fees paid for by taxpayers, the money is coming from a fund originally meant to help the Colorado economy after 9/11.
The independent Colorado Ethics Commission is expected to meet next month to discuss the next steps and set hearing dates.
At issue is travel by Hickenlooper in 2018, the last full year of his term in office.
Hickenlooper traveled to Italy and received access to four separate private jet flights. Records show Hickenlooper did not reimburse the owners of those jets in every instance.
The state commission will now determine if that is a violation.
Amendment 41 in Colorado sets strict gift limits of around $60 for elected officials. State law does allow for some exceptions, however, if the gift is from close personal friends or for official business. The ethics commission investigation is working to determine whether either of those were the case.