Pinnacol Spends $318K on Pebble Beach Golf Trip

January 10, 2011

Colorado’s state-chartered worker’s compensation insurance company spent more than $318,000 on a five-day trip to Pebble Beach, Calif.

Receipts show that Pinnacol Assurance spent about $53,000 on golf and spa treatments and about $21,000 on wine and liquor during the trip in May.

The documents were released after a judge sided with Denver’s KMGH-TV in a lawsuit seeking the documents. Pinnacol has appealed.

Pinnacol is a quasi-governmental agency that pays no taxes. Its board members are appointed by the governor but it otherwise operates largely like a private insurer. Pinnacol said releasing such documents puts it at a competitive disadvantage.

Gov. Bill Ritter said the trip showed “extremely bad judgment.”

The three Pinnacol board members who went on the trip should resign because they can no longer provide proper oversight, state Senate President Brandon Shaffer, D-Boulder, told KMGH.

Shaffer and state Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, also called for Pinnacol CEO Ken Ross to be replaced. Carroll headed a committee that investigated the company’s business practices.

However, it is unclear that elected officials can do anything to recall board members after they’re confirmed.

Records obtained by KMGH show that Pinnacol paid for 27 rooms, ranging in price from $724 to $1,400 per night, and spent more than $82,000 on catering, restaurants, lounges and meetings.

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