Monday, February 4, 2008

Democrat state rep resigns over exposure claims.

Politics: Worst pick up line ever.

Former state Rep. Michael Garcia, who resigned Friday amid allegations that he exposed himself and made lewd comments to a female lobbyist, termed the Jan. 7 incident "consensual" in a statement released Friday afternoon.

"Initial press reports are highly inaccurate regarding my alleged conduct. The other party and I engaged in consensual conduct that was inappropriate, given my position in the legislature and the fact that the other party is a lobbyist," Garcia said in a statement.

The Aurora Democrat, who had been House Assistant Majority Leader, referred reporters to his attorney.

House Speaker Andrew Romanoff's office announced Garcia's resignation shortly before 9 a.m.

The lobbyist, who spoke to The Denver Post on Thursday on condition of anonymity, said Garcia exposed himself to her last month and said, "Wouldn't this be real nice inside of you?"

The woman said she decided to bring the issue to Romanoff's attention after four other female lobbyists told her of similar encounters with Garcia stretching back seven years.

The woman said she and Garcia were playing pool at the Lancer Lounge in Denver with a group of lobbyists after a fundraiser for Garcia on Jan. 7. He exposed himself when the rest of the group had left that side of the bar, she said.

"He just walked around the pool table and unzipped his pants and pulled everything out," she said.

She has not filed criminal charges.

The lobbyist said her attorney met with Romanoff's office this week. Romanoff said he could not confirm any meeting and could not comment on the matter because House rules prohibit him from discussing a sexual harassment complaint or even acknowledging whether one was filed.

"We have acted as swiftly and as responsibly as possible," Romanoff said.

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