DABC commission chairman: 'Everybody knew except the commission' about problems uncovered in audit

Published: Friday, Nov. 4 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

Friday, the commission allowed the media to view a video of a closed-door meeting held with Giani in September. During the often emotional 45-minute meeting, there were heated exchanges between commissioners and Giani.

Sperry accused her of wanting "to conspire with the governor's office" to keep information from the commission and said she was required by law to keep the commission "fully informed."

Giani suggested the commissioners contact the governor's office. "I have kept you as informed as I can," she said. "This is a very weird relationship and I'm sorry it's not comfortable for you."

Commissioner Kathleen McConkie Collinwood told Giani the governor had made it clear to commissioners that he expected them to provide more governance. "You're supposed to be reporting to us so we can govern."

At Friday's meeting, Sperry said the communications issues between the commission and the executive director have been worked out and "things are working quite well from my perspective at this point."

Giani said that while she didn't believe the meeting should have been closed, "everything's good."

But the friction resurfaced Friday over a question of whether the video could be shown since it was not on the meeting's agenda.

"Let's not keep the story alive, for Pete's sake. Let's get it out of the way. They want to see the video. I signed the waiver. I signed it last night. Let's be done, I mean really, you're giving them exactly what they want, a story that goes on for days," Giani said. "Do not be told to do that. It is wrong."

State Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis issued a statement Friday accusing the governor's office of "spinning the blame over to the part-time volunteer citizen commission" when "the buck stops at the top."

Dabakis said the "administrative quagmire at the DABC is the direct result of poor management by Republican legislative leadership and the governor's office."

E-mail: lisa@desnews.com, Twitter: dnewspolitics

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