DENVER (April 30, 2015) – Former Representative and State Senate candidate Jenise May abruptly left the Capitol today after Compass Colorado brought her violation of the House employee rules to the attention of Durango Herald reporter Peter Marcus. After May lost her reelection to the Colorado State House in 2014 she was hired in December as a “special advisor” to the speaker. The Colorado House employee rules clearly state that any employee of the House must immediately terminate their employment upon announcing a run for partisan office. May filed to run for Senate District 25 in January, and has now doubled down with that clear intention by filing a financial disclosure for the race.
When confronted by Mr. Marcus, May abruptly left the building, according to The Durango Herald:
After The Durango Herald asked about the violation, May said she was leaving the Capitol and would not continue working there until she closed her campaign. She clarified that she would not be seeking the office in the near future.
“I’m just going to go home,” May said, as she was walking to her car to leave the Capitol. “I’m just going to close my candidacy. What else can I do? It’s a policy, I didn’t even know. I just found out. ... All I can do is say I left, what more?”
Speaker Hullinghorst hired May as her “special advisor” after May’s dramatic loss for reelection. This hiring was one of the more stunning displays of naked political cronyism at the Capitol as May was hired at a salary greater than that she would have made as a legislator, and Hullinghorst is clearly using taxpayer dime to warehouse May for her next political bid. May and Hullinghorst have now flagrantly disregarded the House rules for the entire session, as May has been both a political candidate and high-level House employee.
“Jenise May is one of the top advisors in the Colorado House so she can’t feign ignorance of the clear House employee rules,” said Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado. “Speaker Hullinghorst hired May after she lost reelection to keep her afloat for her next political bid. It’s appropriate that May is closing her campaign, since if she can’t even follow the rules of the body in which she used to serve, she is clearly unfit for office.”
Since she was a partisan candidate while being paid by taxpayer dollars in violation of the rules, Maher continued: “Jenise May should refund all her pay from the time as a candidate to the taxpayers, we have rules to prevent being paid as a legislative employee while running for office to prevent just this type of situation.”