You might be wondering how transparent a Colorado judge must be with their personal finances. Colorado has various rules and canons that all state judges must follow. The goal of these disclosures is to maintain public confidence in the integrity of government officials and to promote trust of the people in the objectivity of their public servants.
- Annually, every Colorado judge is required to publicly report the source and amount of compensation received for activities outside their judicial duties.
- Quarterly, every Colorado judge is required to publicly report (1) gifts and things of value above a specified amount, and (2) reimbursement of expenses and waivers of fees/charges.
- Prior to January 10 follow their retention election, every Colorado judge must file with the secretary of state the following:
- The names of any source or sources of any income, including capital gains, whether or not taxable, of the judge, their spouse, and minor children residing with them;
- The name of each business, insurance policy, or trust in which the judge, their spouse, or minor children residing with them have a financial interest in excess of five thousand dollars;
- The legal description of any interest in real property, including an option to buy, in the state in which the judge, their spouse, or minor children residing with them have any interest, direct or indirect, the market value of which is in excess of five thousand dollars;
- The identity, by name, of all offices, directorships, and fiduciary relationships held by the judge, their spouse, and minor children residing with them;
- The identity, by name, of any person, firm, or organization for whom compensated lobbying is done by any person associated with the judge making disclosure if the benefits of such compensation are or may be shared by the judge, directly or indirectly;
- The name of each creditor to whom the judge, their spouse, or minor children owe money in excess of one thousand dollars and the interest rate;
- A list of businesses with which the judge or their spouse are associated that do business with or are regulated by the state and the nature of such business or regulation.
In addition to these reporting requirements, Colorado judges are not allowed to accept any gifts, loans, bequests, benefits, or other things of value if acceptance would appear to a reasonable person to undermine the judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality.