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Pueblo votes to change ethics code following KRDO investigation

Ethics Code Changes

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Following a KRDO investigation in August, Pueblo City Council voted to change the city's ethics code Monday night.

Previously, only the Pueblo City Council president could preside over any ethics complaint made against the mayor, council member, or municipal judge. After Monday night's 6-1 vote to change the city's Ethics Code, all of Pueblo City Council will now be involved with investigating and voting on those ethics complaints.

More than one month ago, KRDO reported Mayor Nick Gradisar signed off on thousands of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds to two businesses that held potential conflict of interests. A grant of $10,000 went to Tick Tock, a coffee shop in downtown Pueblo owned by Emily Gradisar, the mayor's niece. While $4,000 was granted to Stiletto Hair Salon. The salon pays rent to Wildwood Professional Building, which names Gradisar as a partial owner.

City Council President Dennis Flores investigated an ethical complaint made against the Mayor on this issue. Flores concluded the ethics complaint should be dismissed for "failure to state a claim."

"This did not rise to the level of an ethics problem," said Flores back in August. "The mayor did not make the decisions. The (COVID-19) Evaluation Committee made the decision."

But in response to KRDO and Flores' investigation into this matter, some on the Pueblo City Council are concerned over the procedure surrounding ethics complaints.

Monday night, City Council President Dennis Flores was the lone dissenting vote to change Pueblo's ethics code. Flores fears that more voices involved in an ethics investigation could potentially politicize it.

Local News / Pueblo

Dan Beedie

Dan is a bureau reporter based out of Pueblo. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Corruption in politics and city government. Nah
    That never happens. Just like Hunter Biden never got favors because his dad was VP………..

  2. First things first, I want to congratulate the city of Pueblo for taking action and beginning to take the right actions.

    The city of Pueblo’s next actions need to be holding the Mayor and the City Council President, accountable. Listening to the City Council’s president state he followed the letter of the law, and I bet he did because he knew this line existed. And when an ethics complaint comes in, he handled it with no ethics, but did so lawfully.

    Like I said a while ago, one in public service is expected to hold themselves to a standard of not doing any action that is not illegal, immoral, or unethical. But most governments have no recourse of action traditionally for immoral and unethical, so the person stays when these problems come to light. At worst case they are not voted back in office. Rarely are any of these politicians criminally held accountable and required to repay the finances back to the taxpayers / government general fund / or in this case the CARES Act.

    One only has to look at their local governments to see how rampant and wide-spread this corruption is to get a beginning understanding how systemic this problem is within all governments (Municipal, County, State, and Federal). This isn’t a Republican only or Democrat only problem, this is a two-party system problem.

    It is good that a large of a city as Pueblo is, they are not only observing these actions but they are now attempting to take steps to correct and fix hopefully more of these problems. Imagine if Colorado Springs, actually did what Pueblo is doing and began holding themselves accountable to their constituents, instead of their benefactors and lobbyists.

    Well baby steps, Colorado Springs, your still on the list to do the right thing by your constituents, all you have to do is make the effort and begin changing back to listening to The People, not the lobbyists and financial benefactors. I know Colorado Springs can do it, either with this government leadership sooner, rather than later, or the next ones to be elected and we will give them a chance to do the right thing for the betterment of the city.

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