25 September 2009

Denver Tidbits

* RTD had a bad, but not fatal bus accident. A driver fell asleep. Bus accidents are much less common than car accidents by every measure, but they happen.

* 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.


Billll said...

Accidents involving buses are fewer because there are fewer of them. A friend who drives a taxi tells me they are responsible for more than their fair share of fender benders as people try to avoid them. They are commonly regarded as "rolling roadblocks".

Anonymous said...

So, you didn't quote the statement from Taylor. What exactly did she say? Given her wild, loose allegations in the past, I doubt that the statement was temperate and appropriately restrained.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Buses are much safer relative to vehicle miles travelled, whih controls for their smaller numbers. The fact that the driver is a professional and hence much less likely to have a record of violations, be drunk or be asleep, or be an a truly urgent reckless hurry is a big part of it. Also, buses are big so serious injuries and fatalities are rare when bus accidents happen.

There are bus-car interaction related accidents that aren't well tracked (usually to two cars with the bus no in contact), but that is as much a traffic design issue as it is an issue of bus operation.

Anonymous said...

so, what did Chantell Taylor say exactly? given that you've defended her statement