Dems call on GOP's Baumgardner to step down amid 'credible' harassment allegations - Colorado Politics
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Dems call on GOP’s Baumgardner to step down amid ‘credible’ harassment allegations

Author: Dan Njegomir - February 8, 2018 - Updated: February 8, 2018

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State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, speaks at the Club 20 fall conference on Sept. 10, 2016, in Grand Junction. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

An independent inquiry that reportedly found sexual-harassment allegations against Republican state Sen. Randy Baumgardner to be credible has prompted minority Democrats to call for his resignation.

A statement issued today through the Senate Democrats’ press office on behalf of the entire caucus chides Republicans for having “taken no action” and accuses them of leaving the public in the dark.

Here’s the full statement:

“Through media reports, we understand that an independent investigation has found sexual harassment allegations against Senator Randy Baumgardner to be credible — allegations that he inappropriately touched a staff member on multiple occasions.

Victims and the public at large deserve swift, deliberative, and transparent action in response to these allegations. Instead, despite having access to the independent investigation’s findings for weeks, Senate GOP leadership has taken no action and said that the public may never know what happens. Good faith efforts by our leadership to clarify the process and move things forward have been rebuffed and delayed.

We have no choice but to call for Senator Baumgardner to resign from public office. In the meantime, he must also be stripped of his committee chairmanships.”

As KUNC-FM public radio’s Bente Birkeland reported last week, the former legislative aide who made the allegations in a complaint she had filed with the legislature told Birkeland of the finding by the firm that conducted the investigation, Employers Council:

The woman said she learned of the results of the investigation from a Senate staffer on Tuesday (Jan. 30, 2018). The woman said the staffer told her “the evidence suggests there should be a consequence.”

…She told us in November that Baumgardner, a Hot Sulphur Springs Republican, slapped and grabbed her buttocks four separate times during the 2016 legislative session. She alleged that the incidents took place at the Capitol while she worked.

The Senate GOP released a statement by Senate President Kevin Grantham of Cañon City last week on the controversy surrounding Baumgardner, of Hot Sulphur Springs:

“We remain bound by confidentiality requirements that exist to protect the integrity, fairness and legality of an ongoing [their emphasis] complaint review process …. We are not free to detour from that process simply because someone shares something with the press. If and when we can say something, we will. Until then, we will continue to follow and respect the process.”

 

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is a blogger and opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.


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