Gov. fires gaming commissioners

Jan 24, 2006 2:02 AM

The former vice-chairman of the Colorado Gaming Commission said Saturday that he and former Chairwoman Natalie Meyer were fired by the governor for upholding the state constitution.

"I think we got fired for doing the right thing," Robert Millman said.

Gov. Bill Owens had said Friday that the two were not providing leadership.

Millman and Meyer had been vocal in their disapproval of how the department of revenue was handling the state’s gaming budget. The pair were engaged in a dispute with the department about which entity has authority over different aspects of the gambling industry in the state.

"This is about the law. It’s not about politics," Millman said.

Dan Hopkins, spokesman for Owens, said the governor agrees there are some ambiguous areas in the statute that need to be sorted out. Owens had asked the state attorney general for a legal opinion, but Meyer and Millman weren’t interested in working through the process, he said.

"The statute is clear, though, in that it requires the Revenue Department and the commission to operate in a cooperative manner," Hopkins said.

He added that both were "very disruptive" and made it difficult for both the commission and Revenue Department to do their jobs.

Hopkins said Owens lost confidence in the pair’s abilities.