By Karen Morfitt
DENVER (CBS4)– The Mayor of Denver’s trip to the Super Bowl has drawn some scrutiny so the Denver Board of Ethics took a closer look. The board members gathered for a meeting on Friday afternoon.
Mayor Michael Hancock’s tickets to the Super Bowl were a gift but there have been questions about travel expenses for Hancock and his family.
The mayor’s travel expenses are paid for using the city’s general fund and he will pay for his wife and daughter. The concerns are that the public had no input and there appears to be no cap on just how much money Hancock can spend.
“It’s important for us to be here to talk about our city with all that’s going on in our great city,” said Hancock in an interview with CBS4’s Karen Leigh in San Francisco.
Three ticket to the Super Bowl were gifted to the mayor by the Denver Broncos. Because the mayor has no contractual business with the team there is no violation.
Travel expenses for the mayor and at least four other staff members are being paid for with taxpayer dollars. That has some citizens asking questions.
“If the people in the City and County of Denver want to send the mayor to the Super Bowl then that’s what we’ll do but I think we should have some sort of public way of approving that,” said Denver resident Wedigan Bland.
While the board agrees it may be worth discussing the use of those funds isn’t something they have much control over.
“There may be legitimate differences of opinion as to whether tax payer dollars should be paid or used to allow or enable our elected officials to attend such events as the Super Bowl but it doesn’t violate the code of ethics,” said Denver Board of Ethics member Brian Spano.
From Super Bowl City, Hancock assures his trip is all business.
“The people of Denver and my team are very careful to make sure that when we take a trip it’s significant for the people of Denver,” said Hancock.
There is no estimate on how much the trip might cost. Hancock told CBS4 he hopes to use the time to promote Denver on a national, if not international, stage.
Karen Morfitt Joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around metro Denver. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.