By Tim Hoover
The Denver Post
State law says they can use the funds for official business as they “see fit,” and Colorado’s five statewide elected officials spend money from their offices’ discretionary accounts on meals, office supplies, parking, salaries, employee retirement parties and occasional travel to nonpartisan events — among other things.
But a review of discretionary-account spending shows that Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican who attended the Republican National Convention and a GOP lawyers meeting on the same Florida trip, is the only current statewide official who has used his office’s fund for party-related events. He’s also the only public official who has given himself an end-of-year payout from the fund to reimburse expenses without any receipts.
The review of current state elected officials who have such accounts also included a review of the discretionary spending of former Secretary of State Bernie Buescher, Gessler’s predecessor.
Colorado Ethics Watch, a liberal group that has criticized Gessler, on Monday asked District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to look into whether Gessler broke laws against embezzlement of public funds and filing false statements by taking the Florida trip in late August using $1,452 from his discretionary fund. Read More