The day before Thanksgiving incoming Senate President-designee Leroy Garcia notified Secretary of the Senate Effie Ameen that she was fired. Ameen’s access to the Capitol, her official email account and her computer privileges were revoked sometime between Nov. 23 and Nov. 26.
Current Senate President Ken Grantham sent out a blistering statement today demanding that Ameen be immediately reinstated. “Setting aside the audacity to fire a nonpartisan Senate staff member the day before Thanksgiving, the Secretary of the Senate is a staff member who is elected by the 35 members of the Colorado State Senate, and as such, cannot be unilaterally removed by any one member of the body.”
The Secretary of the Senate acts as Parliamentarian, advising the body on the rules of the Senate, keeps official records, deals with other Senate employees and has numerous other duties related to the business of the Senate.
Grantham included a link to a Nov. 23 legal opinion by the Office of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS), a non-partisan legal advisory department.
In that opinion the OLLS was very certain that no individual Senator, even the Senate President, can unilaterally hire or fire the Secretary of the Senate, who is elected by, and therefore can only be fired by the Senate as a whole voting to do so.
No statement from Garcia was available at press time. This story will be updated when information is available.