Panel: Gessler violated ethics rules over spending

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DENVER (AP) -- Colorado Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler has been admonished by an ethics panel over spending office funds to attend a GOP conference during the party's national convention in Florida last year.

The determination Thursday is a black eye to a potential gubernatorial run by Gessler. The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission issued the ruling.

The case centered on Gessler's travel last summer to a conference on elections law. While there, he also attended the Republican National Convention.

Colorado Ethics Watch filed the complaint, arguing that discretionary funds are meant for state business, not for partisan events or personal benefit. Gessler insists he did nothing wrong and that the conference was educational and qualified for reimbursement from his office's discretionary fund. He used campaign funds for expenses related to the RNC.

He plans an appeal.

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