FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 25, 2015
CONTACT: Amy Runyon-Harms, Executive Director at [email protected]
DENVER: As questions continued to grow about the involvement of Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman in an alleged attempt to blackmail Colorado Republican Party chairman Steve House into resigning from his position, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, submitted a formal request to Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to open a criminal investigation into the incident.
“For ten days now, we’ve been trying to get answers from Colorado’s chief law enforcement officer about her role in trying to push Steve House out of his job as Republican Party Chairman,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Yesterday, we asked Attorney General Cynthia Coffman if she discussed the possibility of legal proceedings or action against Steve House in any way to persuade him to resign. Coffman’s own statements in press interviews this week appear to admit her reasons for being involved in this scheme against House, as well as admitting that allegations of an extramarital affair ‘came up’ in an attempt to convince House to resign.”
In a letter to Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, ProgressNow Colorado asserts that “Mr. House’s allegations appear to support a finding that General Coffman, Mr.Tancredo and Ms. Mizel committed criminal extortion. C.R.S. § 18-3-207…[y]our office is reported to have stated that it has not been contacted regarding any potential crime described in Mr. House’s statement. Please consider this a formal request to begin an investigation into whether an extortion attempt occurred in your jurisdiction.”
“Again, if Coffman was in any way involved in criminal activity, even to sanction it with her presence, she has violated the trust of Colorado voters and cannot remain in office,” said Runyon-Harms. “Colorado law is clear that any person who makes a ‘substantial threat’ to damage the reputation of another person in order to coerce them into a decision is committing a felony crime. As the state’s chief law enforcement officer, Cynthia Coffman must be held accountable for her actions in this case. Even the appearance of such unseemly behavior on the part of the Colorado Attorney General renders her unfit to serve.”
“For the sake of the rule of law, and confidence in our law enforcement, we have to get to the bottom of this,” said Runyon-Harms.