* U.S. Representative Mike Coffman has filed a dubious ethics complaint with attorney regulations officials related to criticism of his conduct as Colorado's Secretary of State.
In a letter to the state Supreme Court, Coffman accused Chantell Taylor of wrongly claiming a state commission found that he "technically violated state law" when he was secretary of state.
The statement made by the lawyer against whom the complaint was lodged was based upon a statement in a government report in which the:
Independent Ethics Commission cleared Coffman on a conflict-of-interest complaint in April. It ruled that Coffman did not overlook the actions of an employee in the state elections office who wrongly operated a political side business. The commission also ruled Coffman did not violate ethics rules when his office granted a voting-machine contract to a company that used a political consulting firm in common with Coffman. In its report, the commission found that "although there may have been a technical violation of state law, this was mitigated by the vigorous and immediate remedial action taken by both Coffman and (his assistant)." In his complaint letter to the commission, Coffman said the finding of a technical violation referred only to possible illegal activity by his employee and not to Coffman.
The attorney discipline process does not exist to allow people to insist on fine nuance in statements made in course of political debates concerning the conduct of a public figure while in public office that are reasonably related to a finding made in a published report of a governmental agency, about matters of public concern -- in this case a non-frivilous complaint about ethical misconduct that the Independent Ethics Committee examined in a hearing.