On Wednesday, August 10, 2022, The Denver Post reported that Former State Court Administrator Christopher Ryan, who last year blew the whistle on what he said was corruption at the highest levels of the court system testified before lawmakers, speaking only a few weeks after an investigation concluded that his core allegation of a cover-up was untrue.

In his brief remarks before the Interim Committee on Judicial Discipline, Ryan said that the inquiry into his claims was flawed because it was not independent of the Colorado Judicial Department and asked for extensive reform to the judicial discipline process.

According to the report:

“Ryan last year claimed that top judicial officials agreed to give a $2.75 million contract to the state court administrator’s then-Chief-of-Staff Mindy Masias as she left her job to ensure she did not speak publicly about judges’ unaddressed misconduct.

An independent investigation into the contract that finished in June found that while the contract was steeped in unethical behavior, enabled by a toxic work environment and was an abuse of taxpayer resources, it was not specifically designed to stop Masias from speaking out about misconduct or filing a tell-all sex discrimination lawsuit.”

Due in large part to the fact that Masias received the contract from then-Colorado Supreme Court Justice Nathan “Ben” Coats weeks before the threat of a tell-all lawsuit was made, the investigators came to the conclusion that the contract was not a quid-pro-quo arrangement for silence. The investigators claim that neither the Colorado Supreme Court nor the Judicial Department inappropriately influenced them.

Ryan asserted that he did not act in his capacity as an employee without the judges’ or justices’ consent. He also asserted that efforts at reform must take into account the power differential.

“I worked exclusively for judges in one manner or another,” Ryan said. “Given that most of the written work I produced over the course of my career was issued under someone else’s name, I clearly knew who was in charge. My duties… were always performed with the advice and consent of the judicial officers for whom I worked. I had a front seat at the table for a long time. There’s a broad sweeping application in the concept of separation of powers and the use of the umbrella of judicial independence as cover to keep the ‘outsiders’ out of judicial business.”

Source: The Denver Post


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