Secretary of state backtracks, won’t take side job

DENVER — Colorado’s new secretary of state has changed his mind on taking a side job that earned him widespread criticism from both parties.

Republican Scott Gessler, who oversees elections, said last month that he couldn’t get by on his official annual salary of $68,500 and would take a side job working 20 hours a month for his old law firm, Hackstaff Law Group.

The side job elicited howls of protest because the firm is known for handling elections law. Gessler’s insistence that he wouldn’t handle cases related to his official duties didn’t silence critics who called the job a conflict of interest.

Gessler asked Republican Attorney General John Suthers for a ruling on the matter. Suthers delivered an oral opinion last week, and though both officials cited attorney-client privilege in keeping the conversation secret, Gessler said today he will forgo work for Hackstaff.


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