CDPS Statement Regarding Veto of HB 18-1427

On Monday, June 4, Governor Hickenlooper vetoed House Bill 18-1427. More information here. In relation to this action, the Colorado Department of Public Safety has released this statement: 

The Colorado Department of Public Safety and its divisions abide by the values of honor, integrity, fairness and transparency in all that we do. We agree that conflicts of interest should play no role in the decisions being made by governing bodies, including the appointed boards that CDPS supports.

The Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) currently has ethics and conflicts of interest standards that its members must follow. Additionally, the Department of Public Safety is working on implementation of HB 18-1198, which will further ensure all board members understand, can identify, and can properly manage conflicts of interest. Finally, professionals who provide treatment to sex offenders must maintain state licensure through the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and any unethical behavior by these licensed professionals can incur clear consequences up to and including loss of licensure.

However, we take very seriously the concerns raised by sex offender advocates and the sponsors of HB 18-1427, as well as the recommendations made by Governor Hickenlooper in his veto of the legislation. Therefore, the Department of Public Safety will immediately undertake a thorough review of the SOMB’s rules and policies pertaining to conflicts of interest to identify opportunities to strengthen the public trust and ensure that all unintended conflicts are avoided.

Additionally, the Department believes an evaluation of the Board’s meeting policies, procedures, and board conduct could provide valuable insights and clarity; thus, the Department of Public Safety will seek to secure an independent review by a third-party evaluator in time to present Colorado’s elected leaders with information during the 2019 legislative session.

“Our focus is always to do our utmost to make our communities safer and to protect victims. We aim to do so in a way that is ethical, effective, and that builds trust with the people we serve,” said CDPS Executive Director Stan Hilkey. “The SOMB is effective because of the vast wealth of knowledge and perspective provided by the 25 experts who give their time to serve on the Board. So we take very seriously the need to preserve their ability to provide expertise while also honoring our commitment to fair, transparent, conflict-free governance. We are always open to opportunities to further enhance the Board’s ability to effectively promote public safety in a manner that inspires confidence and trust from all stakeholders.”

The CDPS mission is to safeguard lives and protect the community. The Sex Offender Management Board does so by establishing standards and guidelines that protect victims and employ evidence-based best practices for the effective management of sex offenders.