John Hickenlooper's defense attorney fees have cost state taxpayers over $43,000.
A former Republican speaker of the Colorado House filed a complaint with the state's Independent Ethics Commission (CIEC) alleging that as governor, Hickenlooper benefited from free jet rides and other travel perks in violation of state ethics laws and guidelines.
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The state agreed to provide an attorney to Hickenlooper before he left office this January, and the agreement further stipulated the state would pay the attorney fees through the completion of the case, according to the Denver Post.
The Post report also details how the agreement hooked Hickenlooper up with one of the highest-profile attorneys in the state, Mark Grueskin, at a rate of $525 an hour. Grueskin has a long history of representing Democratic politicians and causes in the state. He did not respond to a request for comment from the paper.
The CIEC recently released a preliminary fact-finding report that included interviews with Hickenlooper and others who had knowledge of the travel, but did not draw any conclusions. Final findings and recommendations from the CIEC aren't expected until a hearing is held where both Hickenlooper and the complainant can argue their case.
So far no date for the CIEC hearing has been set.
Hickenlooper is currently vying to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. senator to take on Republican incumbent Cory Gardner.