The Latest: Lawmaker questions sex misconduct investigation
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on allegations of sexual misconduct involving Colorado lawmakers (all times local):
A Colorado state lawmaker facing possible expulsion over sexual harassment allegations is questioning the credibility of the independent investigator who concluded that he likely committed the misconduct.
During a Thursday meeting of lawmakers with investigator Margerie Sturgill, Rep. Steve Lebsock said she wrongfully accused him in her report of withholding a calendar showing his whereabouts on a day when one of the incidents allegedly occurred.
Sturgill said Lebsock was holding the calendar in his hands at the meeting and that she would have gladly kept it if he had given it to her.
Denver’s district attorney says she cannot investigate allegations of sexual assault or harassment by Colorado state lawmakers unless complaints are filed with police.
District Attorney Beth McCann responded Thursday to Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham, who urged her to launch criminal investigations in several cases.
Grantham says some of the allegations amount to assault and are better handled by the criminal justice system.
He says the Legislature isn’t equipped to investigate such allegations and issue sanctions while guaranteeing due process for both sides.
McCann says sexual assault prosecutors work with police to determine if enough evidence exists to warrant criminal charges.
She encouraged anyone who wishes to report misconduct by a lawmaker to contact police.
Colorado state House representatives are hearing testimony about sexual misconduct allegations against a Democratic lawmaker.
Democrats who control the House have introduced a resolution to expel Rep. Steve Lebsock of suburban Denver.
They say a report by an outside investigator being considered Thursday found that 11 allegations of harassment made by five women against Lebsock are credible. Lebsock denies wrongdoing.
The testimony began after Democrats voted down a motion by a Republican lawmaker to convene a bipartisan committee that could hear testimony directly from Lebsock and the accusers.
GOP. Rep. Yeulin Willett, an attorney, says lawmakers are being asked to expel a colleague based on hearsay. He notes that the investigator’s report was redacted by Democratic leadership before being released to lawmakers.
Republicans who control Colorado’s state Senate are calling for criminal investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct by lawmakers.
Senate President Kevin Grantham said Thursday he had asked Denver District Attorney Beth McCann to launch investigations.
Grantham said some of the allegations amount to assault and are better handled in the criminal justice system.
He also said criminal investigations would remove any political element from the current practice of hiring outside investigators.
Grantham spoke as Colorado House lawmakers heard testimony about a sexual misconduct investigation of Democratic. Rep. Steve Lebsock.
Leaders of the Democrat-led House want to expel Lebsock, who denies the allegations.
An outside firm found allegations of assault and intimidation made by five women against Lebsock to be credible.
Colorado lawmakers will convene Thursday to debate the merits of an independent investigation that the House majority leader says found sexual misconduct allegations against a state representative to be credible.
Rep. Steve Lebsock, who represents a suburban Denver district, denies the allegations.
The first claims against him went public in November. Millions of women shared their experiences as victims of sexual harassment or assault on social media last fall, resulting in a wave of allegations in statehouses nationwide.
House Majority Leader KC Becker introduced a resolution to expel him Tuesday citing the investigation results, which have not been publicly released.
Lebsock could face an expulsion vote as early as Friday.
If expelled, Lebsock would be the second state lawmaker to be kicked out of office since the #MeToo movement emerged.