DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. John Hickenlooper says State Rep. Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton) should resign following accusations of sexual harassment against State Rep. Faith Winter (D-Westminster).
“It appears he agrees that what happened, happened. If that’s what he said, he should resign,” Colorado’s Democratic governor told CBS4.
On Tuesday, Lebsock spoke with reporters following an explosive report accusing him of sexually harassing at least nine women. Winter says Lebsock became sexually aggressive with her at a wrap party following the 2016 legislative session at a bar near the capital.
“This is not a case of false allegations necessarily. This is more a case of blackmail and coercion and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. Right now I’m fearful for my life,” said Lebsock.
Lebsock says he’s received threatening messages from around the country demanding he resign.
In a wide-ranging interview, Lebsock questioned the validity of his accusers’ accounts and said his colleagues spoke about sex often.
“We can talk about it openly. About sexual harassment, about how men may perceive things differently than women,” Lebsock said.
The governor says there is no love lost between himself and Lebsock but still wants to hear Lebsock’s account of the 2016 incident.
With nearly a dozen women now accusing the state leader of sexual harassment, Hickenlooper says it may be impossible for Lebsock to survive the scandal.
“You lose your credibility and you lose your capacity to lead at a certain point,” said Hickenlooper.
Lebsock says he will not resign from the legislature or end his campaign for state treasurer. He says he plans to address the accusations and his political future at a press conference on Nov. 30.