This week on Colorado Politicking, legislative reporter Pat Poblete and Denver Gazette reporter Dennis Huspeni discuss the third-party report probing Denver Public School Director Tay Anderson's conduct and school walkouts calling for his resignation. Meanwhile, chief legislative reporter Marianne Goodland focuses on the state Independent Ethics Commission rejecting a request for private security for Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
DPS students on Monday walked out of schools, starting with North High School, and marched on the district's downtown headquarters calling for Anderson's resignation.
"That's more than a three-mile walk," Huspeni said of the march from NHS to the DPS headquarters. "They were dead-set on getting out there and making sure their message was heard."
The walkout came after the DPS board last week voted by a 6-1 margin to sanction Anderson, the only recourse for punishment at its disposal after a probe did not corroborate that he committed allegations of sexual assault but found he made "unbecoming" comments to minors.
According to Huspeni, "the students were confused about that."
"I think they expected the school board to fire him and what they really didn't understand was that the district ... censured him," he said.
Poblete added that a DPS spokesman indicated the censure vote was the extent of the punishment the board could have doled out, though a recall vote is possible.
Goodland also dug into the details of a story she reported on earlier this week on Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission unanimously nixing Griswold's request for private security.
The issue commissioners raised wasn't that Griswold shouldn't be protected, Goodland said, but rather who would have paid for it.
"The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State – which is a multi-state organization and she is its chair right now – offered to pay for private security for her," Goodland said. "The Ethics Commission, which is a five-member board, took a very dim view of this. They said, 'This looks like a campaign contribution.'"
Goodland said Griswold still receives security, paid for by the Department of State, at official events. At issue is security at campaign events.
"For right now, there isn't really an answer about how security is going to be handled," she said.
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