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Republicans seek subpoena to force Hickenlooper’s ethics testimony

Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission denied the former governor's request for written testimony. Hickenlooper wants to delay any public testimony until August.

DENVER — Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is running out of options to delay testifying in an ethics investigation about his jet travel while in office.

The Public Trust Institute, the group with ties to Republicans that filed the complaint against Hickenlooper, is seeking a subpoena to force his appearance at a remote hearing before Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission on June 4.

Hickenlooper’s request to submit written testimony was on Wednesday rejected by the IEC, which ordered him to appear via video conference at the remote hearing. The notice filed by his attorney last week said Hickenlooper’s due process rights would be violated by a video hearing.

RELATED: Hickenlooper asks to submit written testimony in lieu of remote ethics hearing

The IEC said a subpoena would be required if Hickenlooper refused to appear.

Hickenlooper is seeking to delay his public testimony until August, at which time, Democratic primary voters will have decided whether Hickenlooper or former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff will face Republican Senator Cory Gardner in the general election.

“This has nothing to do with the Democratic primary,” Hickenlooper campaign manager M.E. Smith told reporters on a conference call Thursday.

Asked by 9NEWS whether Hickenlooper would hide out to avoid being served with a subpoena prior to the June 4th ethics hearing, his campaign manager repeatedly declined to answer.

“There’s no need for a subpoena,” Smith said. “He said he’ll testify. We have offered August 18th and 19th.”

Hickenlooper faces a long-delayed ethics probe over whether accepting private jet travel from wealthy supporters constituted illegal gifts. Hickenlooper has denied that accepting the flights broke the law.

Suzanne Staiert, attorney for the Public Trust Institute, said she expected the IEC to address the subpoena request on Monday.

Former Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty, now with the Public Trust Institute, said the group would have preferred an in-person hearing but, after a series of delays, wants to move forward with the remote hearing scheduled by the IEC.

“The question now is will Hickenlooper be there or is he trying to push the consequences off until after the election,” McNulty said.

RELATED: Hickenlooper's attorney in ethics investigation is paid for by post-9/11 economic recovery fund

RELATED: Ethics commission releases report on Hickenlooper complaints

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