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Passage of 1B provides additional structure to ethics rules

Posted on 11/08/2017
Passage of 1B provides additional structure to ethics rulesLast night, Weld County voters approved Ballot Issue 1B repealing Section 16-9 of the Home Rule Charter, “Conflict of Interest,” and replacing it with new language titled “Ethics Rules and Standards”. The change became effective immediately.

The repealed language broadly outlined what conflicts of interest would be as it pertained to county officers, appointed board members and county employees, and it dictated that such conflicts of interest were to be handled by the Weld County Council.
The new language removes that duty from the Weld County Council and places review and determination of any potential conflicts of interest or ethics concerns with the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission.

The new language also provides additional information regarding who the rules apply to and outlines specific information regarding what constitutes an ethics violation.
For example, prior to last night’s vote, the county’s conflict of interest and gift ban policy applied to elected county officials, appointed board members and county employees. The new language now also includes spouses and children of anyone previously listed. It also sets a dollar limit of $59.00 as the maximum amount a gift or benefit can be in order to for that gift or benefit to not be considered a violation of the rules.

Employees will be sent a memo from the Weld County Attorney outlining the change in the code language, which is more specific than the prior language, and provided each employee with a copy of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission Handbook.

The biggest change to come from last night’s vote is the shift of review of any ethics complaint from the Weld County Council to the state commission. Under the Colorado Constitution, the Colorado Independence Ethics Commission will now preside over review and rulings of complaints.