A Democratic state lawmaker in Colorado resigned Sunday, weeks after facing felony charges alleging she falsified her residency to run in her district again following last year's redistricting.
Prosecutors say Tracey Bernett, who represented part of Boulder County in the Colorado House of Representatives, lied in sworn documents when she said she lived in an apartment within the new boundaries of her district. The apartment allegedly went unused, accumulating "cobwebs," according to police, while Bernett continued living in her old home outside the new district boundaries, CPR News reported.
Bernett faces three felony charges and two misdemeanors in the alleged scheme, counts that could land her years in prison if convicted. Those charges were levied days before the election in November, when many early votes had already been cast, and Bernett cruised to victory against her Republican opponent.
The Democrat did not admit guilt in announcing her resignation, with her lawyers saying she is giving up her seat "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."
Colorado Republicans slammed Bernett for "undermin[ing] democracy" when she was confronted with the charges in November.
"Bernett disenfranchised Colorado voters by lying about where she voted and where she lives and, in effect, undermined our democracy," Kristi Burton Brown, state chairwoman of the Republican Party, said.