Panel votes to investigate ethics complaint against gun lobbyist
DENVER — A six-member executive committee decided to proceed with an ethics complaint filed against a lobbyist for Dudley Brown, the controversial leader of a gun rights group, after meeting privately Friday morning.
The vote was unanimous, with two Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman and House Minority Leader Mark Waller, both voting along with the four Democratic leaders to investigate the charge.
FOX31 Denver was first to report Thursday that Friday morning’s meeting, which was private and closed to the press, centered on a verbal altercation earlier this month between a GOP lawmaker and a lobbyist for a Brown’s group.
During the House floor debate on four gun restriction bills, all of which have passed the House and will be debated in the Senate next week, Rep. Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen, told Joe Neville, the lobbyist for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, to “F*** off” after he threatened political attacks through direct mail campaigns related to her votes on gun issues.
Gerou, who voted against all four Democratic gun control bills, filed the complaint against Neville for threatening her with political retribution.
Gerou believes she’s being targeted because she too supports civil unions.
Earlier this week, Neville told that he’s drafted his own formal ethics complaint against Gerou for her language, although he was holding off on filing it, hoping not to distract from the larger debate about gun control.
He has since filed the complaint, which will be heard in a separate meeting.
Gerou’s frustration is shared by other Republican lawmakers who view RMGO’s executive director, Dudley Brown, as a bully; former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel called Brown a “political terrorist” in a Denver Post story earlier this week.
Brown, whose group is ostensibly focused on the protection of Second Amendment rights, is notorious in GOP political circles for his behind-the-scenes work on behalf of conservative candidates, especially in Republican primaries.
Last May, after Nikkel was the first Republican to cast a vote in support of civil unions, fliers attacking Nikkel that were printed by Brown’s staff but not, he says, paid for by his organization, were distributed outside her church.