DENVER — The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is undergoing an internal review of its policies after the release of information surrounding a back pay complaint filed against State Rep. Joe Miklosi’s Congressional campaign by the campaign’s former finance director.
CDLE spokesman Bill Thoennes told The Observer that his department was “not consistent” in how it dealt with the confidentiality of the back pay complaint, by giving details to The Denver Post, while telling The Observer that such information was not public.
“We are currently reviewing our requirements for confidentiality of certain records pursuant to the Colorado Employment Security Act,” says Thoennes.
Thoennes said he was told by the department’s director that information regarding the complaint was considered confidential, but the CDLE staff member who spoke to The Denver Post did not seek the director’s approval before sharing the information.
The department is now reviewing whether information regarding resolved complaints should be deemed public record.
Rep. Miklosi (D-Denver) is running against incumbent GOP Congressman Mike Coffman in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.
In November 2011, Miklosi’s Congressional campaign finance director, Kirsten Boyd, filed a complaint with CDLE alleging she had not been paid in full for her work.
The Colorado Observer reported on this back pay complaint, and Boyd’s insistence that she had not been fully compensated, but was unable to determine the resolution of the complaint after being informed by a spokesman for the Labor Department that such information was confidential.
At the time, the Miklosi campaign insisted the complaint had been resolved, but did not provide details as to the resolution.
Last week, The Denver Post reported that the complaint had been dismissed by CDLE in January due to the fact that Boyd was not a formal employee with a contract, according to an unnamed spokeswoman from the labor department.
But the claim that Boyd wasn’t an employee raises further questions, as the Miklosi campaign listed payments to Boyd as “salary” in its filings with the Federal Election Commission. Payments to other campaign staff members, such as former campaign manager Dean Meinen, are also listed as “salary.” Consultants such as Steve Welchert, on the other hand, have “consultant” listed for their “Purpose of Disbursement.”
Emails requesting an explanation for the designation of Boyd as being paid salary, rather than a consultant fee, were not returned by the Miklosi campaign.
The Miklosi campaign has also yet to say whether Boyd has been fully compensated for her work, regardless of its classification of her services.
Taxpayer advocacy group Compass Colorado, which has paid for robocalls attacking Miklosi over the pay dispute, says Miklosi is not being forthright about the issue.
“Joe Miklosi continues to deceive Coloradans as he attempts to cover up his role in this serious labor dispute,” said president of Compass Colorado Tyler Q. Houlton. “His campaign must have severely defrauded their former finance director to cause a well-respected Democrat operative to file a labor complaint in the first place.”