DENVER–January 18, 2011–Pinnacol Assurance, a state government subdivision that provides worker’s compensation insurance continues to appear in the spotlight, more than six months after it was first called out for irresponsible financial activity.
The organization first made headlines in March 2010 when the Colorado Legislature considered tapping nearly a quarter of Pinnacol’s $2 billion surplus to balance the state budget. While this idea was eventually abandoned, Pinnacol didn’t stay out of the news for long.
In May 2010, Channel 7 News Investigator Tony Kovaleski found and reported a number of Pinnacol executives on a lavish vacation in Pebble Beach, California. Pinnacol reportedly paid for the trip.
A financial audit of Pinnacol Assurance in June 2010 revealed shocking financial exploits, “bordering on abuse,” according to auditors. Most of these fiscal irregularities were centered on excessive bonuses and extravagant travel expenses.
Among other findings, the audit revealed that the organization had indeed paid for employees to attend a vacation at Pebble Beach gold resort in California. According to auditors, 75 percent of the travel write-offs violated Pinnacol’s policy on reimbursable expenses. This included thousands of dollars in alcohol, hotel rooms, golf fees and winery tours.
Most recently, on January 17, 2011 Channel 7 News reported obtaining an internal Pinnacol Assurance email, stating that neither the CEO Ken Ross, nor three board members who attended the Pebble Beach trip plan to resign.
This comes after several Colorado lawmakers called for the resignation of these individuals. While the Governor appoints Pinnacol’s board of directors, the State is not able to force resignation.
The Colorado State Legislature founded Pinnacol Assurance to be a “last resort insurer,” providing workers’ compensation insurance to companies that were denied elsewhere. As such, it cannot turn down coverage for any Colorado business and is the state’s largest provider of worker’s compensation insurance.
Were you injured at work?
If you were injured on the job and face a claim against Pinnacol Assurance, please call the expert worker’s compensation attorneys at Bachus & Schanker for a FREE consultation. Our attorneys will make sure your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us now at 866-277-6711.