Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca wants to hire her partner. The Denver Ethics Board is thinking about it.

The ethics code clearly recommends against the practice “to avoid favoritism by city officers, employees or officials to their immediate family members.”

City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca weighs in during a meeting with the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council hosted by the National Western Authority, Sept. 12, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca weighs in during a meeting with the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council hosted by the National Western Authority, Sept. 12, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

On Wednesday the Denver Ethics Board debated whether Denver City Councilwoman CdeBaca could hire partner Kerrie Joy Landell even though the city’s ethics code discourages making family members staff.

Landell has been working pro bono as an aide for CdeBaca since she took office in June. The board will decide whether to recommend the hire, with caveats, Nov. 13.

“(A waiver) wasn’t officially issued and the decision wasn’t final,” said Lori Weiser, chair of the ethics board. “We want to consider what kind of protections or concerns can be addressed to shore things up if we grant it.”

In other words the ethics board can grant a waiver with conditions, like having another staff member directly oversee Landell. Lisa Calderón, CdeBaca’s chief of staff, told board members she would manage Landell to avoid conflicts.

“We recognize the optics of this, and we want to live our values of transparency and accountability,” CdeBaca said in a statement. “If people have been pleased with our work through the campaign and to date, then we are hopeful you will support this shift to compensate another beyond-qualified woman of color for her discounted labor and service in arrears and moving forward.”

CdeBaca said she offered the position to two other people before landing on Landell. There is no concrete protocol for how politicians hire staff.

One person on the ethics board said letting CdeBaca hire her partner would be inappropriate. Others did not.

The ethics code clearly recommends against the practice “to avoid favoritism by city officers, employees or officials to their immediate family members.” It can grant waivers, and “it is the intent of the council that the board of ethics not unreasonably withhold waivers,” the document states.

Hi! You’re like us!

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver.Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.