Per a new rule in Denver city government, City Council members and Mayor Michael Hancock must report all gifts received. And while the value of the gifts won’t jump off the page, it’s the details that make the report worth a read.
Denverite’s got the interesting scoop on the tally of the value of gifts to City Council and Hancock so far this year.
The highlights: Hancock is a steak man (obviously), and his report showed being taken out for dinner at “Ocean Prime the most, five times,” and “STK Denver three times,” Denverite’s Megan Arellano reports.
And, City Council member Rafael Espinoza far outpaced his colleagues, reporting gifts valued at $552,778. But as Espinoza explained to Arellano, it was part of a large donation to North High School.
It’s because Espinoza reported getting a $550,000 gift from Rhys Duggans, who is a part of the ownership group of Elitch Gardens.
The May 26 gift is reported as a “donation to the HUNI foundation to benefit North High School. Donated 10,000 single-day admission tickets. If all are sold value would be $550,000.”
Per the city’s ethics handbook, city officials, or immediate family members, cannot receive gifts if they are in a “position to take direct official action toward the giver and the giver has (or is about to have) a business, contract, or regulatory relationship with the City.”
The handbook details a long list of appropriate gifts, including those from other council members and “meals and event admissions (including parking), but no more than four may be accepted from the same giver in any calendar year, regardless of the value” and unsolicited gifts valued at $25 or less. Memberships or passes to the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanical Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Denver Zoo are also considered appropriate.
Read the full count of gifts to city officials halfway through 2017, and view Denverite’s handy chart detailing their value, here.