Lawmakers Fuming Over State Hiring A Mediator

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Denver (AP) Republican lawmakers are fuming over a decision by Governor Bill Ritter's administration to hire a professional mediator to help craft a bill that would guarantee tenant rights.

Mediator Steve Charbonneau says the Colorado Division of Housing paid him $5,000 by for six months' work to build a consensus among landlord and tenant rights groups to back the bill.

But he says the deal fell apart in February when lawmakers and lobbyists got involved.

Senate Minority Leader Andy Mcelhany of Colorado Springs says it was wrong for the administration to bring in a mediator. He says it's the job of lawmakers, who often work with lobbyists to draft legislation, to negotiate and carry bills.

Republicans called the mediator move a waste of time and money.