The Latest: Colorado lawmaker accused of sexual harassment
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on Colorado Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock being accused of sexual harassment (all times local):
A state representative says he doesn’t remember saying anything inappropriate to a fellow lawmaker who has accused him of making unwanted sexual advances toward her during a party in 2016.
Rep. Steve Lebsock issued a statement Friday night saying he apologized to Rep. Faith Winter for offending her. He added that he had done nothing that could be described as criminal.
Winter says Lebsock suggested they engage in sexual acts and acted aggressively toward her when she refused during an end-of-session party.
Lebsock and Winter are Democrats from Adams County.
Colorado Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran removed Lebsock as chairman of the Local Government Committee on Friday. Lebsock is running for state treasurer.
Colorado Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran says she and other legislative leaders will examine the Legislature’s sexual harassment workplace policy after accusations of sexual misconduct against a Democratic lawmaker.
Duran said in a statement Friday that she will review the policy to determine whether it is adequate and make any changes needed.
Duran removed state Rep. Steve Lebsock of Adams County as chairman of the Local Government Committee on Friday. She acted following an accusation by Rep. Faith Winter, also a Democrat from Adams County, that Lebsock made unwanted sexual advances in 2016.
Dean Toda, a spokesman for House Democrats, says leaders would not be able to confirm if a formal investigation of the Lebsock complaint is underway. Under current policy, any formal complaints are handled confidentially.
The workplace policy covers lawmakers, government staff, lobbyists, news media and others working at the Capitol.
Neither Lebsock, who is running for state treasurer, nor Winter immediately returned telephone messages seeking comment.
Colorado’s House speaker has called for a Democratic lawmaker to resign and removed him from a committee post following a colleague’s accusations that he sexually harassed her.
House Speaker Crisanta Duran removed state Rep. Steve Lebsock as chairman of the Local Government Committee on Friday. It followed a report of Lebsock making unwanted sexual advances toward a fellow Democrat, Rep. Faith Winter, in 2016.
Lebsock didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment. He’s running for state treasurer in 2018.
Colorado is the latest statehouse with women reporting misconduct by men in the wake of sexual harassment and assault allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Duran told Rocky Mountain Community Radio, which first reported the allegations, that she expected Lebsock would “do the right thing and resign.”