LAW WEEK COLORADO
Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission, created as a result of voter passage of Amendment 41 to advise lawmakers and government officials on ethics issues, today won a House committee’s approval to move from the state’s executive branch to its judicial branch.
Commission members Dan Grossman and Sally Hopper, both former state senators, told members of the House Judiciary Committee that the move came after the commissioners experienced some uneasiness over a request by the state Department of Personnel to take an employee whose job was being cut. The commission at the same time had a job vacancy.
Ultimately, the commission did take the employee “and everything’s fine,” said Sen. Dan Grossman after the hearing. But the situation prompted the commission to investigate its housing options. It initially contacted the governor’s office. After some discussion, the Judicial Department, which houses a number of independent agencies, was approached. It agreed to the switch.
The two-employee, five-member commission will be required to pay its share of rent. The Judicial Department is currently housed on the fifth floor of The Denver Post building, at 101 W. Colfax Ave. A new judicial center will soon be under construction at the corner of 14th Avenue and Lincoln Street.
The judiciary panel passed the measure, which now goes to the full House. Part of the bill’s language reads:
The independent 7 ethics commission, is hereby ORIGINALLY established in the office of 8 administrative courts in the department of personnel created in section 9 24-30-1001, IS HEREBY TRANSFERRED AND ESTABLISHED IN THE JUDICIAL
10 DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS PARAGRAPH (a), 11 AS AMENDED.