Ethics Watchdog Files Action Identifying Multiple Ethics Violations by Governor Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper illegally accepted corporate gifts while serving as Governor.

Denver, CO (October 12, 2108) – Today, the non-partisan Public Trust Institute formally filed a Complaint with Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission detailing a series of significant ethics violations by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. The Colorado Ethics Commission is charged with enforcing ethics laws, commonly referred to as Amendment 41, for public officials in Colorado.

The Complaint provides a 171-page written record detailing how Hickenlooper routinely traveled on private corporate jets and accepted excessive gifts of travel, hotels and hospitality in direct violation of Amendment 41. In the past year alone, the Institute’s complaint identified multiple instances where Governor Hickenlooper traveled on private jets owned by for-profit corporations both domestically and internationally and illegally accepted luxury hotel accommodations and expensive travel expenses from corporations.

“Governor Hickenlooper’s extravagant travel habits have been the source of public speculation for years. After conducting extensive research, we learned that the problem is far more serious than any of us could have realized,” said Frank McNulty, former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives and Director with the Public Trust Institute. “The vast majority of state officials carefully abide by Colorado’s strict ethics and gift laws, I was disappointed to learn that Hickenlooper seems to think that these ethics laws don’t apply to him.”

The investigation into Hickenlooper’s illegal activities also uncovered evidence where Hickenlooper attempted to conceal his private jet-setting and posh accommodations from public scrutiny for years by redacting all records of his private corporate travel from his public schedule, while his commercial travel was not redacted and remained a part of his public record. Further investigation revealed that Governor Hickenlooper failed to disclose any of these extravagant travel benefits in his official quarterly report as required by state law.

“The Complaint demonstrates that these ethical lapses are not isolated incidents, in fact, far from isolated. Governor Hickenlooper has consistently skirted Colorado’s ethics and gift laws for years. As citizens, we need to praise honest public servants while shining a bright light on those abusing the public’s trust. I am confident that the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission will thoroughly investigate these violations and hold Hickenlooper accountable for abandoning the public trust,” McNulty concluded.

The full complaint and exhibits can be found at: