BRIGHTON -- The Adams and Weld county trustees resigned July 10 as part of an en masse departure of 10 of the governor-appointed officials.
Carol Snyder, the outgoing Adams County Public Trustee, and Susie Velasquez, Weld County's outgoing trustee, were named in a Denver Post report on potentially improper spending in their offices.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, who appointed or reappointed the 10 public trustees, accepted their resignations. The other counties with resigning public trustees were Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Pasto, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa and Pueblo.
"We all have to stand for good government," Hickenlooper said in a release. "That means maintaining the public's trust and wherever possible avoiding even the appearance of any impropriety. We appreciate the service these trustees have given to their communities."
Public trustees handle public transactions and foreclosures, as well as overseeing the administration of Deeds of Trust. Trustees are also responsible for collection of tax accounts for deeded land purchases.
Specifically, Snyder was reported to have a publicly funded car and fuel reimbursed by her ofice; Velasquez was reported to be using public money for vehicle registration fees and personal education costs.
Applications for new public trustees are being accepted by the governor’s office through the Office of Boards and Commissions. In the interim, Hickenlooper’s office is working with the counties to ensure public services are not interrupted.
Following the Post’s report, Hickenlooper issued guidelines for the governor-appointed trustees regarding Amendment 41 and ethics, including:
- Submitting a conflict of interest disclosure each year and disclosing any professional licenses.
- Following state rules on the use of any vehicle owned by the public trustee's office. That includes not using state vehicles for personal use.
- Receiving approval of all purchases greater than $5,000.
- Following state rules on official functions.
- Restricting the gifts purchased for employees.