Judge chosen in Helen Collins ethics case

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The city's ethics process is moving forward. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The city's ethics process is moving forward.
More than seven months after the City Attorney's Office accused City Councilor Helen Collins of ethics violations, the city has finally chosen a judge to preside at a hearing on the matter.

According to Suzanne Dugan, an attorney based in New York hired by Council, the Judicial Arbiter Group Inc. of Denver will provide a hearing officer.

"Under the contract, JAG will provide the services of Judge Bob Hyatt," she writes in an email. "The contracted rate is $360 per hour with a not to exceed amount of $10,000, and the contract is effective through December 31, 2015 unless extended by the City."

Dugan goes on to say that Judge Hyatt will coordinate with the parties to the hearing — Collins and the Independent Ethics Commission's attorney, Jane Feldman — to establish a process and timeframe for the proceedings under the guidelines.

Collins tells the Independent that Feldman attended the probation revocation hearing on Monday for Douglas Bruce, Collins' political ally for whom she transferred a property to a third party buyer that led to the ethics complaint. She also notes that Hyatt has ruled against Bruce in court. The case involved Bruce's challenge in 2011 of the state Title Setting Board's language for Amendment 64, the legalization of recreation marijuana, due to wording that didn't make clear taxes would be raised. Hyatt dismissed the case in 2012 due to a jurisdictional issue.

That said, Collins didn't say whether she'll ask for a different hearing officer.

 

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