Two people appear to be doing the same job at the Colorado state Capitol as a result of a botched firing by Senate Democrats, who won’t say whether taxpayers are funding both positions at once.
The fiasco began the day before Thanksgiving. According to outgoing Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City), the top nonpartisan administrative staffer for the Senate was fired by incoming Democratic leadership.
By Monday, Secretary of the Senate Effie Ameen found her email access, building access and computer access all revoked.
Keith Barnish, a spokesman for Senate Democrats, said they hired former Secretary of the Senate Cindy Markwell to return to the position. Barnish said her first day at work was Monday.
The only problem? According to the legislature's attorneys, Democrats don't have the power to terminate the Secretary of the Senate nor name the replacement.
Ameen was elected to her position by the members of the chamber and her replacement would need to be elected as well, the attorneys said.
In an emailed statement, Senate Republicans spokesman Sage Naumann called the Democrats' actions illegal, blaming Senate President-designee Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) for the move.
BELOW is a Next with Kyle Clark report on the issue.