After Senate President John Morse conceded defeat in the historic recall last night, we reached out to an old nemesis of his: Stephanie Cegielski.
In 2011, Cegielski filed an ethics complaint against Morse for abusing tax-free per diem payments — taking per diem for 331 of 365 days in 2009 alone. Morse’s boss, then-Senate President Brandon Shaffer, convened an ethics panel to investigate the claims.
Morse was livid. Furious. Seething with rage that anyone dare question him.
When asked about the complaint, Morse made a veiled threat against Cegielski, telling the Colorado Springs Gazette: “If I were a private citizen, I would own these peoples’ homes.”
Now that Morse is a private citizen again, here is what Stephanie Cegielski has to say:
I am truly elated this morning. After the last legislative session I was embarrassed to say I was from Colorado, but after last night’s vote I am proud of the voters of Colorado and once again proud to have been born and raised there.
Sen. Morse has acted above his authority during his tenure. First his Amendment 41 violations with his Denver apartment, then stealing tax dollars through false per diem claims and finally by pushing through gun legislation that went entirely too far. The voters did what the legislature couldn’t and removed him from office. His time at bat is done, he is out on his third strike.
I sat and watched New York City election results last night and realized that Colorado is a truly special place. The citizens of the state love the state and truly value their freedoms. They will not allow outside money to influence them and they will not tolerate insolent leadership.
Last night’s results weren’t sending a message to Sen. Morse but also to the Gang of Four – take your money and your games and go play elsewhere, we are taking back our state.
I wish Sen. Morse all the luck in the world going forward. I have always been confident in my accusations against him and I am thrilled that he can no longer make threats against and hurl insults at others.