Colorado's Secretary of State Scott Gessler has given up his plan of moonlighting at his old law firm to supplement his government salary, after it prompted widespread calls for his resignation.
Gessler abandoned his plan of working part-time for Hackstaff Law Group on Tuesday after voters and his own colleagues at the State Capitol warned it would be disastrous for his office.
People were concerned that his part-time job in Hackstaff Law Group, which specializes in election and campaign law, could pose a major conflict of interest to his governmental duties.
Gessler, who became Colorado's new Secretary of State last month, had announced that he was seeking a part-time job as his $68,500 salary would not be enough to support his family.
The part-time 20 hours a month job at Hackstaff Law Group, he said, would be a great help, he said.
Gessler had also announced that he would ask State Attorney General John Suthers to advise him on the issue.
On Tuesday, Gessler said he was backtracking on his plan.
Over the past two weeks, many have asked that I publicly disclose client names, Gessler said in a statement on Tuesday.
My former law firm has expressed great discomfort with this arrangement. Indeed, I cannot in good conscience expect anyone to subject themselves to public scrutiny, merely because I am doing some legal work for them, Gessler said.
For this reason, I have decided that I will not do any work representing clients through my former law firm. And while I have had substantial discussions with the Attorney General's office about outside employment, I have nonetheless asked the Attorney General to halt work on this issue, he added, as I have decided that I will not go forward with my initial plans.
Gessler, however, did not say whether his recent decision was influenced by any advise Suthers might have made.
Nonetheless, he did say that his announcement doesn't mean he won't do any part-time work at all.
Gessler, a graduate from University of Michigan School of Law, is now considering teaching at the University of Colorado and University of Denver law schools and hasn't also completely ruled out the possibility of working for another law firm.