New details released from Skorman ethics complaint investigation

Independent Ethics Commission Report

An Independent Ethics Commission found Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman violated the city’s code of ethics after the victim of a car crash filed a complaint claiming Skorman used his title to threaten her. 

City council members voted Tuesday, September 25, to release the commission’s 15-page report to the public. 

In a copy obtained by FOX21 a reporting party said that Skorman abused his power and it detailed how the commission came to the conclusion that Skorman committed an ethical violation. 

It’s all surround a crash that happened in March of 2018 on West Cheyenne Road.

Barb Sutherland says she was rear-ended by another woman whose license had been revoked, had no insurance, and was in a vehicle not registered to her. 

Sutherland says Richard Skorman then showed up at the scene, telling her over and over he was the president of the city council and saying he could vouch for the woman, who according to the report is Skorman’s goddaughter, asking to just exchange information and let her go. 

The documents show Skorman admitted he asked Sutherland if she slammed on her brakes before being rear-ended. He also said one reason for his god daughter needing to leave the scene was she had a young child waiting for her. When Sutherland did not agree, she’s quoted in the documents saying Skorman replied with, “You don’t care about children. Why don’t you care about children?”. 

In the report, the Independent Ethics Commission finds it wasn’t the fact that Skorman was mentioning his title in order to gain some credibility, it was that he was seeking “special treatment” for his close family friend and he went on to use “accusatory and derogatory comments” directed at Sutherland, leading her to believe he was using his position to intimidate her. 

After about four months of investigation, the five-person ethics commission unanimously found Skorman in violation, recommending an oral reprimand. 

Ultimately in a five to three vote, the city council passed a motion to dismiss the complaint against Skorman. Andy Pico, Don Knight, and Tom Strand all voted no. 

Richard Skorman released the following statement: “I want to apologize to the Sutherlands and the City of Colorado Springs. My intent that day was to identify myself and not use my position on Council for a special privilege. I appreciate my colleagues on Council dismissing this complaint so we can move forward.”

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