Ethics panel OK's secretary of state Scott Gessler's free trip

DENVER - The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission says Secretary of State Scott Gessler can attend a Republican National Lawyers Association seminar in Las Vegas next month at the organization's expense.

The Denver Post reports the commission approved the trip Wednesday.

State law limits public officials to $53 annually in gifts. Gessler's trip was approved because he's a seminar speaker.

The commission voted to allow the deputy secretary of state to attend at state expense to assist Gessler.

Last year, the commission said Gessler violated state rules when he used his office's discretionary fund to help pay for his trip to attend the same group's 2012 conference.

Gessler says the panel is treating him differently now because he's not a political candidate. He lost the Republican nomination for for governor last month.

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