Gov. Hickenlooper Says His Picks Will Restore "Trust And Accountability" To Board
2:57 AM, Feb 22, 2011
Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed John Plotkin and John Cevette to the Pinnacol Assurance Board of Directors, saying the two new members and a third appointed by former Gov. Bill Ritter will "help restore trust and accountability" to the embattled agency.Ritter appointed Blair Richardson in his final days in office to replace former board ethics chairwoman Debra Lovejoy, who did not reapply. Lovejoy, Board President Gary Johnson and Ryan Hettich were the focus of a CALL7 Investigation into the three board members accepting a lavish golf trip to Pebble Beach, Calif., at the expense of Pinnacol. The board members are appointed by the governor to oversee the company and executives and top legislators charged the board member's ethics were compromised by accepting such an expensive trip.Hickenlooper made reference to Pinnacol's travel and spending in a news release appointing the two new members.These individuals are each uniquely qualified to provide the Pinnacol Board with expertise in business management, employment law governance and workers compensation insurance, Hickenlooper said in a news release. Clearly, some events in the past related to Pinnacol were inappropriate. We expect the addition of Blair Richardson, John Plotkin and John Cevette will help restore trust and accountability to the board.The $318,000 Pebble Beach trip, which included thousand for alcohol, pricey hotel rooms and $495 rounds of golf, was exposed by CALL7 Investigator Tony Kovaleski, who followed Pinnacol employees, board members and independent agents on the trip. After the trip, Pinnacol went to court to block access to the receipts from the trip that 7News was requesting under state open records laws. Pinnacol lost in court and turned over the records earlier this year.Richardson is managing partner of Bow River Capital Partners in Denver. Plotkin is a member of Denver law firm Gregory & Plotkin LLC. And Cevette is chief of staff to the Colorado Senate Majority.The new appointments require state Senate confirmation.Pinnacol is the government-created, quasi-state agency charged with providing worker's compensation insurance to companies that cannot get it from other private insurers.