Nonpartisan Senate Secretary Resigns, Ending Pre-Session Scuffle Between Parties

<p>Hart Van Denburg/CPR News</p>
<p>The Colorado State Capitol.</p>
Photo: Colorado State Capitol West Side 2 November 2018
The Colorado State Capitol.

A pre-legislative session fight over the top non-partisan job in the state Senate may be over.

Senate Secretary Effie Ameen agreed to resign Friday, effective immediately. Her replacement is already queued up to start Monday.

The saga began when incoming Democratic Senate President Leroy Garcia fired Ameen the day before Thanksgiving. But legislative staff attorneys concluded Garcia didn’t have the legal authority, and Ameen was reinstated.

Garcia didn’t comment at the time on why he decided to replace Ameen. Many Democrats told CPR News the party was unhappy with how Ameen handled sexual and workplace harassment complaints.

The Secretary of the Senate can only be removed by resignation or by a vote of the full Senate when the legislature convenes in January.

Outgoing Republican Senate President Kevin J. Grantham said in a statement:

With this resolution, I thank Effie Ameen for the 17 years she has given to the State of Colorado. Her presence will be missed dearly under the Golden Dome, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Additionally, we welcome Cindi Markwell as the incoming and returning Secretary of the Senate. As I stated in my final speech on the floor of the Senate in May, she has been missed, and we all welcome her back to Team Colorado.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misspelled Effie Ameen's last name.