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Colorado lawmakers urge colleague to resign over old arrests

October 10, 2018

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s state House leaders called Wednesday for the resignation of a fellow Democrat after a report that he had been arrested years ago for investigation of domestic violence.

House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Majority Leader KC Becker said in a statement that they had spoken with Aurora Rep. Jovan Melton about two arrests, which were first reported by The Denver Post. They said they urged Melton to resign.

Melton, who is seeking re-election in his suburban Denver district, has denied committing any violence toward women.

In a Facebook statement, he said he was “embarrassed and heartbroken to be reminded of my immaturity all those years ago.”

He also said he looked forward to working in the next legislative session.

The disclosure came after legislative leaders appointed an interim committee earlier this year to draft a new workplace sexual misconduct and harassment policy following allegations against at least five lawmakers — one of whom was expelled.

The Post reported Tuesday that Melton pleaded guilty to harassment in a 1999 case involving a girlfriend while both were students at the University of Colorado.

He had been arrested on charges of trespassing and harassment related to domestic violence, according to Boulder police records.

He received a 12-month deferred sentence in the case.

In 2008, Denver police arrested Melton on a misdemeanor conduct charge related to domestic violence in a case involving another girlfriend, the Post reported. The charge was later dismissed.

“People should not necessarily be precluded from running for office because they have issues in their past,” said the statement by Duran, Becker and Assistant Majority Leader Alec Garnett. “But we urge (Melton) to consider the seriousness of the story and the impact on the people of his district and on the public confidence in the Legislature.”

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

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