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Governor Seeks To ‘Restore Credibility’ Of Pinnacol Board

By Don Knox, STATE BILL COLORADO

Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed John Cevette and two others to the Pinnacol Assurance board of directors in hopes of restoring credibility of its nine-member board of directors, Cevette told State Bill Colorado on Tuesday.

“When you think of Pinnacol, what do you think of?” Cevette asked. Answering his own question, he said, “The Pebble Beach trip.”

Pinnacol is Colorado’s quasi-governmental workers compensation insurer of last resort. Last year, four of its board members wined and dined the organization’s top sales people during a luxury golf outing to Pebble Beach, Calif. The trip was the subject of scathing news coverage; Pinnacol’s CEO, Ken Ross, pointedly confronted a reporter for Denver’s 7News.

The subsequent publicity was not helpful to Pinnacol, Hickenlooper told Cevette, who, as the top staffer to Senate President Brandon Shaffer, already had voiced his concern about some of the insurer’s practices.

“He asked me about Pinnacol and its potential,” Cevette said of his conversation with the governor, which occurred a week ago. “I think it has a lot of potential. It’s a gem frankly. Not many workers compensation programs in the country have that much of a surplus and market share.

“It can be doing a lot of things for economic development … if it were a forced to be used for the good of the state.”

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