Garnett Appoints Annie Kao to Ethics Commission

DENVER, CO– The House today passed HR21-1005, a resolution confirming Speaker Alec Garnett’s appointment of Annie Kao to the Independent Ethics Commission. The resolution passed by a vote of 45-20.

“Appointees to the Independent Ethics Commission are tasked with the enormous responsibility of holding government to the high standards that our constituents expect of us,” said Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “I have taken the decision to appoint Ms. Kao with the utmost care and responsibility, and I have no doubt that she will fulfill her duties efficiently and with dignity. Her dedication to justice, equity, and ethics is evident in her years of legal experience at the highest level. Ms. Kao is an exemplary Coloradan and I know she will make this body proud.”

The Independent Ethics Commission is an independent government body that gives advice and guidance on ethics issues relating to state and local officials. They hear complaints, issue findings and assess penalties and sanctions when appropriate. Appointments to the commission by the Speaker must be approved by a two thirds vote in the house. 

Annie Kao is a successful and accomplished attorney who has spent decades working in Colorado. She has practiced law at the highest level, working with firms such as Hogan Lovells and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. She has also served as in-house counsel for Vail Resorts, including as Assistant General Counsel, and as lead operations attorney for several world-class resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Whistler Blackcomb. 

Ms. Kao has also worked to improve equity in the legal system through several leadership roles with Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Most recently, Annie has worked as the Founder and CEO of Ascent Inclusion Consulting, an organization that works with companies in the outdoor recreation industry to ensure people of all abilities and backgrounds are welcomed, treated fairly, and feel at home in the outdoor recreation economy.

Speaker Garnett had the opportunity to appoint Ms. Kao after current appointee Debra Johnson submitted her intent to resign effective July 1, 2020.