Colorado lawmaker switches parties after being ousted as Democrat on sexual misconduct allegations
A Colorado state Democratic lawmaker was expelled Friday amid allegations by female colleagues about sexual harassment or abuse — but not before switching political parties.
Rep. Steve Lebsock was expelled by a 52-9 vote after five female state House members took their turns at the podium to come forward as victims of sexual harassment or abuse.
Democrat Rep. Faith Winter and four other women accused Lebsock of harassment and intimidation inside the Capitol and at area bars and restaurants.
Lebsock bitterly contested the claims, saying his accusers were lying and accusing an independent investigator of bias in concluding that the claims were credible.
He becomes the second U.S. state lawmaker to be expelled since the #metoo movement emerged last fall. Last month, Arizona state Republican Rep. Don Shooter was expelled over misconduct claims; a California state senator resigned before colleagues tried to formally expel him amid sexual-misconduct allegations.
Lebsock’s change of party will not end Colorado Democrats’ House majority. State Republicans can name his replacement, but they are purportedly considering passing on that privilege, which gives the task to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper. – READ MORE