Staiert: I reported sexual harassment, and the Colorado Supreme Court denied me justice

The Denver Post: Before “#MeToo” and now “#WhyIDidntReport,” I filed a sexual harassment complaint against a judge with whom I had a professional relationship in my role as a city attorney. It wasn’t that long ago, but in 2011 sexual harassment got more of a shoulder shrug than an outcry for justice.

But I wasn’t looking for an outcry, I did it because I knew I wasn’t the first, but hopefully by filing I would be the last.

With that in mind, I set out on the rocky path of filing a complaint. The day I filed it, I lost my job. I fully expected that, but what I didn’t expect was the mistreatment I’ve received from the Colorado Supreme Court and its Office of Attorney Regulation.

I worked with their office for more than a year. My case made it past intake and to a trial attorney. I’d been to interviews and compiled evidence including releases and statements from other women. Then one day, out of nowhere, the Office of Attorney Regulation sent me a letter dismissing my case. In the letter they called the judge’s actions, “inappropriate and unprofessional,” but found there wasn’t enough evidence that he violated their rules of professional conduct. I called to ask how this could be; what about the gifts, the touching, the lewd comments, and retaliation against me and my cases when I said no? What about where he admitted all the facts in a taped mediation? Their response was yeah, but there was no relationship, so there was no violation.

By picking someone unwilling he got a pass. Their response to that? “That’s not a very healthy way to look at it.”

Naturally, I was not fully satisfied with this result so I asked to see my case file. I was told they wouldn’t release the file because the courts don’t believe they have to comply with Colorado’s open records laws. Instead, they have their own set of carefully crafted rules to block public access.

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