Former state Rep. Steve Lebsock is back in the news, but not because of another sex scandal — it’s the same ones.
This time it’s over a conversation Lebsock had with U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter as the sex scandals were unfolding, and the content of those conversations.
Our reading of the comments reported by the Denver Post is, Perlmutter offered the party’s help if Lebsock would resign, which included helping him find another job.
Perlmutter’s people hit back with a denial that Lebsock was offered “treatment” and “counseling” for being a sexual harasser, but Perlmutter never offered Lebsock a job.
Let’s parse, Lebsock didn’t say Perlmutter offered him a job in the congressman’s office, he said this:
“He even went so far as saying, ‘Look, Steve, if you resign you know we will make sure that you land well and get a job and all that,’” Lebsock said. “I couldn’t believe it, and I said, ‘Ed, there is no way I’m going to resign because I didn’t do anything wrong.’”
And here’s the denial:
“Ed Perlmutter never offered Mr. [Steve] Lebsock a job,” campaign spokeswoman Ashley Verville said. “What Ed did offer was to help Mr. Lebsock find treatment and counseling to deal with his issues because Mr. Lebsock created a hostile work environment.”
The one thing we know for sure, Lebsock was correct when he said Perlmutter reached out and encouraged him to resign.
Whether Perlmutter offered to help Lebsock land on his feet afterwards, or check himself into a sexual harassment clinic is up for debate.
Considering Verville wasn’t a part of the conversation and her language reeks of a politically correct and rehearsed talking point, we seriously doubt that’s how the conversation went. We’re also wondering why the statement came from Perlmutter’s campaign, and not his congressional office.
The plausible conversation is Perlmutter encouraged Lebsock to resign and get help, then the party would help him rehabilitate his image and find work someplace else.