Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ethics Committee To Take Up Balmer Matter Friday

The ethics committee assigned to investigate complaints against Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, and a lobbyist will meet tomorrow morning.

The committee is considering allegations that Balmer and the lobbyist, Erik Groves, attempted to exert inappropriate influence on a member of the House GOP caucus.

The member, freshman Rep. Cindy Acree, R-Aurora, alleged that she was promised a campaign contribution and a future committee chair slot if she voted for Balmer in the GOP caucus election to choose a new minority leader.

House Republicans had planned to select a replacement for Rep. Mike May, R-Parker, after May announced his retirement in mid-December. May has since said he will remain in the General Assembly at least until the ethics inquiry is completed.

Balmer's answer to the ethics committee inquiry says that he was not aware of Groves' activities or that of some chiropractors associated with the advocacy organization for whom Groves works.

The members of the committee are Reps. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, Joel Judd, D-Denver, Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, and Ken Summers, R-Lakewood.

A website maintained by an organization called Colorado for Ethics has posted to the Internet the documents related to the ethics inquiry. You can find them here.