Gessler files lawsuit over ethics panel investigation

DENVER Secretary of State Scott Gessler has gone to court to try to stop an investigation by the states Independent Ethics Commission into whether he misspent state funds.

The Denver Post reported Gessler filed the lawsuit Wednesday. Gesslers attorneys contend the commission is exceeding its legal authority because the complaint doesnt involve influence peddling. They also suggest the panel may be improperly acting as a criminal court.

The left-leaning Colorado Ethics Watch alleges Gessler violated prohibitions on using state funds for political purposes when he spent money from his offices discretionary fund to attend a GOP lawyers conference and the Republican National Convention in Florida last November.

The Denver District Attorneys office also is investigating.

Officials with the ethics commission declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Associated Press