A third woman has filed a formal complaint against Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock of Thornton for sexual harassment following a 28-page letter he gave to his fellow house members trying to defend himself and denying all allegations. On Tuesday he released a YouTube video. Bente Birkeland reports.
A top legal expert said Lebsock’s letter was retaliatory because it released sensitive information to try to discredit the complainant.
In November 2017 former legislative aide Cassie Tanner publicly accused Lebsock of unbuttoning her shirt at an annual legislative event. At the time, she said she didn’t file a complaint because she couldn’t remember what year it happened, but later found a photo from 2015 that dated the event.
“I remembered what shirt I was wearing,” she said.
Tanner said her recollection of the date coupled with Lebsock’s continued public attention to her claims left her no choice but to file the formal complaint.
“I felt it was necessary to defend myself and show that I’m not going to be bullied or intimidated into backing off of this accusation which is very serious and true,” she said.
She released a letter addressing her decision to file the complaint on Twitter and told us she feels a weight has been lifted off her shoulders because she is standing up for herself.
Here is my statement regarding my formal complaint. Occurred in 2015 NOT 2014 as reported in the press previously. Glad @RepLebsock helped me clear that up by reminding me there are pictures from these events. #coleg #copolitics #CoGov pic.twitter.com/YRRckx77o3
— Cassie Tanner (@CassStenstrom) January 17, 2018
Two formal complaints are still pending against Lebsock, including one filed by fellow Rep. Faith Winter. Democrats have asked him to resign and one legislator plans to introduce a resolution to force his removal from office.
This comes as the Secretary of State’s office formally approved his campaign for state treasurer to petition for ballot inclusion. He’ll have to get 1500 signatures from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts. According to the latest campaign filings Lebsock has raised $1,025 from October to December. That money came in before our story broke Nov. 10, 2017.
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