Update: ethics complaints for travelin’ PUC

January 15, 2011 by Amy
Filed under: Archive 

You read it here first. PUC commissioners Ron Binz (chairman) and Matt Baker have made some ethically questionable trips during their tenure on the PUC:

At least one trip appears particularly problematic. BENTEK Energy, an Evergreen-based energy company, paid nearly $1000 in travel expenses for Binz to attend and participate in the “Benposium” in Houston on June 9, 2010.

And:

Commissioner Baker’s travel isn’t without problems either.  Baker traveled to Seville, Spain last month with a “delegation of business representatives” to discuss Colorado’s utility regulatory climate and “possible incentives for economic development.” Extenda, a public company funded by the Spanish government, paid for the $2,800 trip.

Apparently others thought the same thing. Former State Senator Andy McElhany filed ethics complaints against both Binz and Baker. The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels reports that what goes around comes around — and sometimes comes back to bite you:

Binz was the treasurer of the group led by now-Congressman Jared Polis that put the ethics measure on the ballot in 2006. Voters approved Amendment 41 despite criticism it was so poorly worded that some feared the children of government employees could not accept scholarships. (Even Polis would later concede there were problems.)

So Binz may be in violation of the problematic ethics measure he campaigned to pass. Talk about poetic justice.

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    [...] Open Records Act (CORA) request for all travel documents for the PUC commissioners that lead to an ethics charge against Chairman Ron Binz, who decided not to seek [...]