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Colorado Senate President unsure if he'll reimburse taxpayers for Facebook comment lawsuit

Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia is unsure if he’ll reimburse taxpayers the $25,000 they paid for a lawsuit over a comment deleted from his Facebook page.

DENVER — Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) is unsure if he’ll reimburse taxpayers after a lawsuit over a social media comment on his Facebook page.

“It’s something that I’m continuing to look into,” Garcia told 9NEWS on Monday.

A judge said last month that Alexander Armijo was owed $25,000 after a comment he left on Garcia’s professional page had been deleted. Armijo originally posted a link to a 9NEWS article on about the botched attempt to fire the non-partisan Senate clerk earlier this year.

Along with the link, Armijo wrote, "Either you are grossly incompetent or knowingly violating the law. Step down.”

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His attorney argued the Senate president violated Armijo’s First Amendment rights for first taking down the comment, and subsequently blocking him.

In addition to the money, the judge said Garcia had to unblock Armijo and that no one else could be blocked from the page unless their comments are threatening or obscene.

Colorado’s Legislative Legal Services Committee handled the case on behalf of Garcia, so the state, and therefore taxpayers, handled all the costs.

It’s unclear whether Garcia personally deleted the comment or a member of his staff did.

“My attorney shared with me and [what] I’ve continued to learn about is we’re in this new age where I’m held accountable for something that my aides or staff or interns – and this is a new area,” Garcia said.

Courts have ruled against other politicians, including President Donald Trump, in similar cases.

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