(Nov. 10) – After a news report today of allegations of sexual harassment against Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, and other legislators, Speaker Crisanta Duran issued this statement:
“These are deeply disturbing allegations. I believe there should be extremely high standards of conduct for the legislature, and I take any allegations of sexual assault and harassment very seriously.
“While my formal role in investigating complaints established under Joint Rule 38 prohibits me from making initial judgments about the facts, these numerous allegations would represent a major breach of decorum, and I would expect that Representative Lebsock would consider the impact of his actions on his colleagues and the public confidence in our institution, and do the right thing and resign. There is no place for those types of actions at the legislature.
“There is a process set up through the rules where an individual can submit a formal complaint which then goes through an investigation. As the person who is responsible for conducting the investigations for any complaints regarding representatives and third parties, House and Senate Joint Rules and associated policies preclude me from discussing any complaints or confirming or denying whether one has been filed.
“In addition to a number of efforts we will be undertaking to raise awareness of workplace harassment, I plan to work with my colleagues to review the current process to determine whether it’s adequate to address situations of harassment or assault at the legislature, and make any changes needed.
“The conversation going on nationally right now about sexual harassment and assault is incredibly important, and I applaud the courage of the victims who have come forward with their experiences. I want to reiterate that I have no tolerance for this behavior, and I am committed to doing my part to make the legislature a safe, respectful place for all.”