Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pinnacol Questions Lobbyist After CALL7 Investigation

Arthur Kane and Tony Kovaleski, CALL7 Investigators

Pinnacol Questions Whether It Will Retain Axiom Strategies After Contract Expires

Pinnacol Assurance board members and officials are demanding answers from one of their lobbyists and questioning the veracity of at least one lawmaker after a CALL7 Investigation that asked whether the lobbyist improperly paid for meals to lawmakers or overbilled the quasi-public agency for those expenses.

CALL7 Investigators reported that Axiom Strategies submitted bills to Pinnacol for meals with 16 lawmakers totaling $1,760, and if Axiom paid for the lawmakers' meals it would violate Amendment 41, which prohibits lobbyists from providing anything of value for public officials and employees, ethics experts said.

“If there is an issue with Axiom, I don’t want to retain them,” said Pinnacol Chief Executive Officer Ken Ross. Ross said he discussed with Axiom about sending an auditor over to the lobbying firm to review the detailed receipts for those meetings to determine whether the lobbyist improperly paid for the meals with lawmakers or billed Pinnacol despite a lawmaker reimbursing for part of the food. Axiom President Micki Hackenberger declined a 7NEWS request to review the documents.

“They can’t accept money or a cup of coffee and there was a $350 meal,” Ross said of an Axiom reimbursement that asked for $350 for a meeting with Rep. Ed Casso, D-Commerce City. “That representative on Monday (in the CALL7 story) said that meeting never happened.”

Read documents showing meals that the lobbying firm Axiom Strategies purchased for state lawmakers CLICK HERE...

Full Story CLICK HERE...

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