Colorado State Rep. Steve Lebsock does not plan to resign after harassment allegations

Lebsock wrote that he does not see value in resigning, regardless of sexual harassment allegations against him.

DENVER - Colorado State Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, is not going anywhere any time soon.

Lebsock wrote in a statement, which was posted to his website Tuesday, that he does not see value in resigning regardless of sexual harassment allegations against him.

RELATED | Colorado State Rep. Steve Lebsock asked to resign after sexual harassment allegations

“A quick resignation for ‘the good of the party,’ although expedient for some in political circles will not allow for fair fact finding and due process.”

Various state lawmakers asked for Lebsock to resign on the day that three women came forward in the press with harassment allegations earlier this month. Two of them, including State Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, have since filed formal complaints. 

RELATED | Rep. Winter files formal sex assault complaint against Lebsock

While Lebsock says he takes the allegations seriously, he also writes that “some of the alleged incidents have been significantly exaggerated. Other accusations are completely false.” He says he’s been told that a third-party agency will conduct the investigation, and he will cooperate.

“Ultimately the truth will come out. This situation is challenging as there are some who are eager for my complete story to come out in the press. I want to thank the dozens of people who have called, emailed, texted, and met with me over the last couple weeks showing your support. I am asking folks to be patient. The truth will come out. The first step is cooperating with the fact finder/s who will be assigned. Most of what has been reported is one sided. Please understand that it is important for me to be as respectful as I possibly can to those who have submitted formal complaints and to the fact finding process.”

Lebsock, a candidate for state treasurer, spoke to reporters two weeks ago and said tearfully that someone has attempted to blackmail him into resigning over the phone. Lebsock notes in the statement that Winter is in a crucial State Senate race, and he suggests that his party doesn't want Winter's truthfulness challenged.

Read the full statement below:

On November 10, 2017 allegations were reported in the press. On that day, I sent a press release asking the accusers to submit formal complaints through the professional process established at the State Capitol, not just through the press. I did this purposefully so that the accusations could be documented officially. I take these allegations seriously. On November 11, 2017, I sent out a second press release stating, in part, that I was sorry for any pain I have caused. In addition, my statement included that I would send out another press release by November 30, 2017.

On November 13, 2017 I met with OLLS, attorney staff, at the capitol and stated that I had documented my side of the story and am eager to submit my response to the allegations. I was informed at that time that no formal complaints had been submitted. I expressed my desire to submit my response to the allegations as soon as possible. I was reminded that if a formal complaint was filed in the future, I would have an opportunity to submit my response to any complaint directly to the fact finder/s.

On November 15, 2017 I was notified that two formal complaints had been submitted as I requested. I was notified that an organization outside the capitol would conduct the fact finding and conduct interviews regarding the alleged incidents.

I will cooperate with the fact finding. I have not yet been contacted by the assigned fact finder/s. When I am contacted by the fact finder/s, I will submit my official responses to the two formal complaints. Ultimately the truth will come out. This situation is challenging as there are some who are eager for my complete story to come out in the press. I want to thank the dozens of people who have called, emailed, texted, and met with me over the last couple weeks showing your support. I am asking folks to be patient. The truth will come out. The first step is cooperating with the fact finder/s who will be assigned. Most of what has been reported is one sided. Please understand that it is important for me to be as respectful as I possibly can to those who have submitted formal complaints and to the fact finding process.

There have been a number of threats made towards me after the allegations were reported in the press. Two individuals have offered me jobs if I resign. One is a Facebook friend of Faith Winter. The other is a prominent figure in democratic Colorado politics. I believe asking me to resign and offering a job as a reward for that resignation is telling. Faith Winter is currently one of two democratic candidates running for the State Senate seat that democrats must "flip" in order for democrats to take control of the Colorado State Senate. Republicans currently hold a 18-17 majority in the Colorado State Senate. There will be immense pressure on many to accept the allegations as reported in the press because of the priority to flip this seat in 2018 and to get this situation in the rear view mirror as quickly as possible. However, a quick resignation for "the good of the party", although expedient for some in political circles will not allow for fair fact finding and due process. There are some who asked for my resignation literally within hours of the allegations and before I have had an opportunity to tell my side of the story. Taking the alleged incidents seriously and respecting due process is imperative. It is important that the entire truth be revealed to Colorado citizens. Some of the alleged incidents have been significantly exaggerated. Other accusations are completely false. I renew my ask for patience and allow the fact finder, who gets assigned, to do her/his job. I have documented my side of the story and dated it. I chose to do this early on in the process.

I have dedicated most of my adult life to fighting for the people of Colorado from my service in the United States Marine Corps to my service to the people of Colorado as a Colorado State Representative. All I am asking for is due process. After all of this is over, I look forward to continuing my service to the people of Colorado. I also plan on being part of the important national conversation on how we can continuously improve and how we might treat each other with respect and love.

--

On Wednesday, Winter responded to Lebsock's statement on Twitter saying, "I told the truth and will continue to tell the truth. There is nothing "significantly exaggerated". I said no 5 times to sexual advances. I felt unsafe. Deflecting his responsibility is wrong. I am not alone 10 others have also shared their experience of harassment."

The timeline:

Nov. 10, 2017 | Colorado State Rep. Steve Lebsock asked to resign after sexual harassment allegations

Nov. 11, 2017 | Rep. Steve Lebsock issues new apology in response to sexual harassment allegations

Nov. 13, 2017 Rep. Winter files formal sex assault complaint against Lebsock

Nov. 14, 2017 | Colorado State Rep. Lebsock says tearfully that he's being blackmailed

Nov. 14, 2017 | Colorado House Speaker on why she promoted Lebsock, despite allegations

© 2017 KUSA-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment