Representative Rochelle Galindo Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Claim

Representative Rochelle Galindo's resignation doesn't appear connected to recall efforts launched against her.
Representative Rochelle Galindo's resignation doesn't appear connected to recall efforts launched against her. Courtesy of Rochelle Galindo
Representative Rochelle Galindo, a Democratic member of the Colorado General Assembly from Greeley, announced her resignation on May 12. And while she'd been targeted with not one but two recall efforts, her decision to step down appears to be tied to an allegation of sexual misconduct filed against her by a former staff member.

Galindo hasn't commented on the situation beyond a social-media post shared yesterday afternoon. The first passage reads: "It has been the honor of my life to serve as the Representative for State House District 50. I have served my community to the best of my ability and have given a voice for the underrepresented. With that, it is with great sadness that I announce that I will be resigning my seat as the Representative for State House District 50 effective immediately."

This note is followed by a second quote: "The allegations against me are false. That said, they will make my fight against the pending recall effort untenable. I will not put my constituents through what will surely be a recall campaign based on political smear tactics and false allegations. Instead, I will resign my seat as the elected representative of House District 50, effective immediately."

As you can see, Galindo doesn't specify the allegation in question. However, Colorado Public Radio received confirmation from the Greeley Police Department that the aforementioned ex-staffer had recently filed a police report against her. That document is sealed, but House Speaker KC Becker told 9News the matter in question involves alleged sexual misconduct. Becker added that the incident didn't take place at the State Capitol, which was rocked during the 2018 session by assorted claims of sexual harassment against the likes of Thornton Democrat Steve Lebsock, who was expelled from his position that March.

Westword profiled Galindo last June in a post headlined "Dems in Greeley Could Send the First Lesbian Latinx Millennial to Statehouse." The piece traces Galindo's work as a youthful organizer for President Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign and her successful 2015 run for Greeley City Council, conducted during her senior year at the University of Northern Colorado. She became the first openly gay person to ever serve on that panel.

Galindo subsequently won the Democratic primary for District 50, and last November, she defeated Republican Michael Thuener by nearly 7 percent. But her support for red-flag legislation and a controversial oil and gas reform bill put her at the center of two recall efforts. The first was put forward by Mary Achziger and Karen Kornins, who had until June 3 to collect 5,696 signatures — the number designated to trigger a recall election. The second, submitted under the auspices of Joe Neville, brother of Senate Minority Leader Patrick Neville, also named Senate Jeff Bridges and Representative Meg Froelich.

Such tactics have been successful in the past: Remember that Senator John Morse and Representative Angela Giron were recalled in 2013 for their support of gun-reform legislation approved in the wake of the July 2012 Aurora theater shooting. But the latest two hadn't gathered much steam, with some pundits dismissing them as political stunts.

Now, however, Galindo is out; Becker and House Majority Leader Alec Garnett have issued a statement confirming that they've accepted her resignation. A Democratic vacancy committee will soon get to work choosing someone to fill the seat even as questions continue to circulate about what happened to bring down someone well positioned to become a rising star in the Colorado Democratic Party.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts