DENVER (CBS4) – The state House of Representatives could vote Friday to expel Rep. Steve Lebsock after sexual misconduct complaints made against him were deemed credible by an external investigator.
Colorado lawmakers haven’t voted to expel one of their own in over a century. It takes two-thirds of the House — roughly 44 votes — to expel a member.
Democratic Majority Leader KC Becker introduced a resolution on Tuesday.
“I’ve received a report from the outside investigator that includes 11 allegations by five women against Rep. Lebsock. All of the allegations have been found to be credible by the external investigator. I’ve reviewed the report and found the content of the report to be both serious and egregious in nature. Due to the seriousness of the findings, I’m recommending that this body consider, through a resolution through expulsion, that Rep. Lebsock be expelled from this body,” said Becker on the House floor.
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, people spoke out 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 a limited amount of 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 stated during the hearing Friday.
The expulsion process began with meetings among House lawmakers on Thursday.
“We, as a general assembly, have responsibility to police our own, to hold our own to high level of accountability,” said Becker.
“I will not be expelled. The members of this body will see what’s going on, and I will not be expelled,” said Lebsock.
Winter alleges that Lebsock acted aggressively toward her when she turned down his sexual advances during an end-of-session party in 2016. She said he grabbed her elbow and that she felt threatened.
Lebsock says the allegations are lies, and even went so far as to take a lie detector test.
“I’m not guilty. I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve never sexually harrassed anyone,” 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. Without admitting misconduct, he also apologized to Winter and two other women who allege harassment, former lobbyist Holly Tarry and former legislative aide Cassie Tanner, for causing them pain.