Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ethics Committee Clears Assistant Minority Leader Balmer

An ethics committee has cleared House assistant GOP leader David Balmer of charges he tried to inappropriately influence a GOP leadership election, according to a report in the Rocky Mountain News.

Committee chair Claire Levy was reported as explaining in an announcement that there is no credible evidence to support an allegation that the Centennial Republican had acted improperly in attempting to secure votes in an anticipated election to replace minority leader Mike May, R-Parker, in December 2008.

Balmer, who in 2004 faced allegations that he padded his resume during a political campaign in North Carolina, had been accused by May of using the promises of campaign contributions and a future committee chairmanship to secure the vote of Rep. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora, in the planned caucus election.

House rules forbid such tactics to obtain votes in a leadership election.

May had announced his resignation from the legislature in mid-December.

He later rescinded the resignation when the controversy over Balmer's alleged conduct arose.

May told the Rocky that he filed the complaint against his Republican colleague Balmer because he did not want the public to get the impression that the GOP caucus was "trying to cover something up."

"That is worse," May is quoted by the Rocky as saying.

The ethics committee is still considering charges that lobbyist Erik Groves violated rules against participating in legislative decisions relating to leadership.