DENVER (CBS4) – The state House of Representatives expelled state Rep. Steve Lebsock, accused of sexual misconduct, in a Friday afternoon vote.
It was the first time Colorado lawmakers voted to expel one of their own in over a century.
The final vote was 52 in favor and 9 not in favor. Two-thirds of the House — roughly 44 votes — were needed for expulsion.
Democratic Majority Leader KC Becker introduced the resolution to expel Lebsock on Tuesday after sexual misconduct complaints made against him were deemed credible by an external investigator.
Lebsock has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in connection with formal sexual harassment complaints, including those filed by Democratic Rep. Faith Winter and Holly Tarry, a former lobbyist.
During a special hearing on Friday leading up to the vote just after 2 p.m., people spoke out both against Lebsock and in his defense.
Rep. Winter stated: “This is not about hugs, this is not about handshakes, off color jokes or an occasional misunderstanding. This is about a systematic use of power to intimidate harass and control people.”
“I like Steve Lebsock. He’s my friend. We fought on bills together on the same side when I felt like no one else in this chamber was on my side. And he’s betrayed the trust of not only myself and the women but the people of Colorado,” said Rep. Jonathon Singer.
Lebsock was also allowed time to respond.
“If we are going to hold ourselves to the very highest standards then the investigations in this body should be held at the very highest standards. It was not, it was held to the lowest standard,” he said.
Lebsock, a candidate for state treasurer, had been removed as chair of the House Local Government Committee pending the investigations.
Previously, Lebsock released the results of polygraph tests he said prove that he is telling the truth about his innocence. Without admitting misconduct, he also apologized to Winter, Tarry and another women who alleged harassment –former legislative aide Cassie Tanner — for causing them pain.