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Democrats play dominoes at state capitol

Democrats are creating a domino effect in a shuffling of committee assignments at the State Capitol.

Democrats are creating a domino effect in a shuffling of committee assignments at the State Capitol.

House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, announced five changes to committees that are the first step in if a bill lives or dies.

Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, was picked to take former lawmaker Steve Lebsock's spot on the Local Government Committee.

Lebsock was chair of that committee before being demoted to a voting member after sexual harassment allegations against him became public.

Duran found out about the sexual harassment allegations against Lebsock from Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, in May 2016. She still promoted Lebsock after Winter said she was comfortable with the mediation they had, as long as Lebsock agreed to get counseling. Duran has since said she would not have promoted Lebsock knowing what she knows today.

Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, was demoted from vice chair of that committee after he was accused of sexual harassment at a political event before he was a lawmaker.

When the claims became public in November, Rosenthal's attorney called them categorically false and slanderous.

Duran ultimately determined that since the accusations happened before Rosenthal was a lawmaker, it was not the legislature's place to investigate.

On Friday afternoon, Duran announced that Rosenthal was off his other committee - the Business Affairs and Labor Committee.

The news release from Duran stated, "Committee assignments for members of the House majority caucus are at the sole discretion of the speaker."

Rosenthal told 9NEWS that he was not removed from the committee.

"I asked to be taken off so that I can dedicate more time communicating with my constituents," said Rosenthal.

Rep. Tony Exum, Sr., D-Colorado Springs, is taking Rosenthal's spot.

Another committee change of note: Rep. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, is now off the Judiciary Committee.

He told 9NEWS that "being on the three busiest committees was just proving to be too much this session."

Foote has announced that he is running for Boulder District Attorney. Former DA Stan Garnett resigned last month. Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Michael Dougherty to be the DA, but will have to win election in November.

Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Eagle, is taking Foote's spot on the Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder, is taking Roberts' spot on the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee.

Since Pabon is moving to the Local Government Committee, Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver is taking his spot on the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee.

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