City Council clears Pico of ethics allegation

The Colorado Springs City Council found that Councilman Andy Pico did not violate the city’s code of ethics by working for a firm the city has a contract with.

The finding came after a closed executive session on Monday at which time the council reviewed a report written by the city’s three-person Independent Ethics Commission.

The City Council has a three-year, $10 million contract with Serco to maintain its fleet of vehicles, said the ethics commission report. Former City Councilman Bill Guman sent the complaint to the city, requesting it investigate the possibility of an ethics violation.

Pico works as an independent contractor for Serco’s Defense Business Unit. He receives an hourly wage and is eligible for bonuses, according to the report.

In a two-to-one vote, the commission found there was no conflict of interest.

Of the three commissioners on the ethics board, Chair Eileen Docherty and Commissioner Mal Wakin recommended Pico recuse himself on all votes pertaining to Serco.

“Two commissioners believe the appearance, in this instance, is not in fact a violation, but does constitute a warning of recusal, as this issue may be reoccurring if not adhered to,” the majority wrote in its opinion.

In his vote, ethics Commissioner Craig Valentine said, “Pico’s participation in the budget approval process may create the appearance of impropriety.”