Briefline

Colorado state Rep. Tracey Bernett resigns amid felony charges

By: - January 9, 2023 4:35 pm
Colorado State Capitol

The Colorado State Capitol building is pictured March 22, 2022, in downtown Denver. (Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)

Colorado state Rep. Tracey Bernett resigned from her lawmaking position on the eve of the 2023 legislative session while facing criminal charges that she lied about her residence to run for reelection.

“Ms. Bernett has chosen to relinquish her position while addressing these charges rather than compromising the policy initiatives she deems important to those living in House District 12 and the citizens of Colorado,” a statement from her attorneys, sent out late Sunday night, reads.

Her resignation took effect Monday, the day the 2023 legislative session began.

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Bernett, a Democrat, is facing felony charges that stem from an accusation that she lied about her residence in order to run in a more favorable district. She faces one charge of attempt to influence a public servant, a class 4 felony; one charge of residence-false information, a class 5 felony; forgery, a class 5 felony; perjury, a class 2 misdemeanor; and procuring false registration, a class 2 misdemeanor.

Colorado state Rep. Tracey Bernett (Courtesy Colorado General Assembly)

In November 2021, Bernett rented an apartment and changed her car registration to a Louisville address in the newly-drawn House District 12. She changed her voter registration and submitted a candidate affidavit with that address..

This was after her Longmont home was redrawn into a House district that slightly favored Republicans. The Louisville address is in a district that heavily favors Democrats. She won reelection for House District 12.

There is evidence, however, that she never actually lived in that Louisville apartment and only rented it to qualify for elective office, according to the Democratic Boulder County district attorney, Michael Dougherty.

“I am proud of what I have accomplished in my time in office and want to thank all the people who have supported and worked with me in moving Colorado forward,” Bernett said in a written statement. She “intends to continue to engage in work addressing climate concerns.”

Bernett did not respond to a request for comment.

A vacancy committee of Democrats from her district will need to meet to select a replacement to carry out the two years of Bernett’s term.

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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.

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