Bruce, author of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, was fined $10 for not showing up to a board of El PasoCountycommissioners meeting in January 2008, the day he was sworn into Colorado’s House District 15 seat.
In levying the fine, the former board of commissioners said Bruce’s absence as a county commissioner was unexcused. Bruce contends it was excused – that his fellow commissioners knew about his new legislative job and that he would be gone.
Bruce had taken the oath for the State Representative office, unconventionally, though, postponing the action as long as possible to extend the potential length of the appointed term. And he did not step down as an El Paso Countycommissioner until after the swearing in for the state position.
Bruce told the current board of commissioners last week – at a time during regular meetings when anyone from the public can raise any issue with commissioners — he’s noticed that commissioners who have not attended recent meetings have not been fined for their absences.
The money, Bruce said, is a matter of principle, and he was disturbed over the pettiness and unfairness of the issue.
County Attorney Bill Louis volunteered to take Bruce into his office and give him $10 from his petty cash drawer.
Commission Chairwoman Amy Lathen said she wasn’t on the board when the matter came up and wasn’t willing to do that.
So that’s where the issue stands now, nearly four years later.