Ethics Commission Denies Hickenlooper Request to Dismiss Investigation

John Hickenlooper / Getty Images

An ethics investigation into Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper will proceed as the commission looking into allegations the former Colorado governor improperly accepted jet travel threw out a motion to dismiss the complaint.

"The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has voted 4-0 to throw out motions to dismiss the complaint against Hickenlooper. (In other words, the complaint is still viable)," Denver Post reporter Justin Wingerter tweeted.

"The commission will release its report to the parties involved within seven days," he added. "And hearings will follow."

Hickenlooper is a former two-term Denver mayor and Colorado governor who dropped his failing presidential bid and is now seeking his party's nomination for the 2020 Senate contest against Republican incumbent Cory Gardner.

The ethics complaint, filed by a former Republican speaker of the house in Colorado just over a year ago, alleges that as governor, Hickenlooper accepted jet rides that should have been considered gifts and therefore prohibited by state law.

The Tuesday decision marks the second time the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has voted down requests from Hickenlooper's camp to dismiss the complaint. Just about the time Hickenlooper was preparing to kick off his presidential campaign in February, the commission unanimously shot down a request that the complaint be dismissed.

Hickenlooper's attorneys and spokespeople have said the allegations are a stunt with "factual and legal jumps [that] would make Evel Knievel worried."

Recent poll numbers show Hickenlooper with a double-digit lead over Gardner.

His decision to enter the Senate race also met resistance from Democratic primary opponents who had already been campaigning and who resented the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly endorsing the former governor.