The Colorado State Legislature voted 52-9 to oust Rep. Steve Lebsock, who had been accused by five women of sexual harassment and retaliation. Those allegations were “more likely than not” to have occurred, an investigation concluded early this week.
It was unclear early in the day whether Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat who switched party affiliation to Republican today, would be voted out. He is also running for state treasurer.
Several lawmakers questioned whether Lebsock had received due process and whether expulsion was proper. For seven hours statements continued, including from two men – Democratic Reps. Alec Garnett and Matt Gray – who said they had begun wearing bullet-proof vests to the legislature, fearing for their safety, after standing up for others who made sexual harassment allegations.
“I’m sick of wearing my bullet proof vest,” Garnett said in tears, alleging that Lebsock had threatened to “take him down.”
Lebsock throughout the day denied any wrongdoing and said he would never harm a fellow lawmaker.
We were the first to report the allegations against Lebsock on Nov. 10, 2017. Rep. Faith Winter, a Democrat from Westminster, was vocal in her allegations over the months but reminded House members that others made claims, too.
“This isn’t about me,” Winter said, her colleagues standing as they listened. “It’s about at least ten other people that spoke to a reporter. Four others filed complaints. Plus there are others who were too scared to come forward.”