Wednesday, June 24, 2015
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at [email protected]

DENVER: A day after Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman broke her silence to tell multiple media outlets that she did not blackmail or threaten the Colorado Republican Party Chairman, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded specific answers to key questions about Coffman’s involvement.

“Here is the big question: did Attorney General Cynthia Coffman discuss the possibility of legal proceedings or action against Steve House in any way to persuade him to resign?” asked ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Nothing in the latest news reports, be it the failure to hire Ted Harvey or the possibility of an extramarital affair, can justify Attorney General Coffman threatening House with legal action–either by her office or another party she may have acted on behalf of. These allegations, if true, may well meet the definition of criminal extortion in Colorado law.”

In interviews granted yesterday to Denver media outlets, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman stated that the confrontation of House at a Denver restaurant on June 15th was motivated by House having “promised people jobs”–a reference to the failure of House to hire former Colorado Sen. Ted Harvey as the party’s executive director. [1] Coffman claims there were “no threats,” but admitted that an alleged extramarital affair of House’s “came up” in the context of “potential liability, legal liability.” [2]

“As the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman must hold herself to a higher standard,” said Runyon-Harms. “The position of Attorney General is no ordinary elected office. Cynthia Coffman has the power to initiate criminal prosecutions and refer cases to other prosecutors for legal action. That’s why her involvement in this case of alleged criminal extortion is a more serious matter than other political figures who may have been involved. If Coffman was in any way involved in criminal activity, even to sanction it with her presence, she has grossly violated the trust of Colorado voters and cannot remain in office.”

“The people of Colorado need to know that their chief law enforcement officer was not a party to criminal extortion,” said Runyon-Harms. “As of now, and until we get all the facts, we can’t say for sure.”