#MeTooLegislatureNews

Action on sexual harassment complaint against Sen. Randy Baumgardner could come this week

Author: Marianne Goodland - February 12, 2018 - Updated: February 13, 2018

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Colorado State Senator Randy Baumgardner leaves New Life Church after celebrating the life of Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements during a memorial service Monday, March 25, 2013 after he was gunned down as he answered the door to his home last week. Michael Ciaglo/The Gazette

Colorado state Senate President Kevin Grantham of Canon City told reporters Monday morning that a decision about what action to take on a sexual harassment complaint against Sen. Randy Baumgardner could happen before the end of the week.

As reported first by KUNC, a sexual harassment complaint against the Hot Sulphur Springs Republican was found to be credible by a third-party investigator, according to the woman who filed the complaint. She has asked not to be identified but is a former legislative aide. Baumgardner has denied the claims.

In the past week, Senate Democrats have called on Baumgardner to resign, and Senate Democratic leader Lucia Guzman of Denver announced she would no longer participate in leadership discussions of consequences.

Grantham said he found Guzman’s decision unfortunate. First, she wanted to be included in the decision-making and then she didn’t, he said. “We’re getting mixed signals on an hourly basis.”

Grantham also pointed out that no one has seen the investigation report, so claims that the complaint was found credible is missing context. “Don’t put too much into ‘credible’ until you see the report.” However, that report is confidential, and Grantham noted the only two people who could release it are Baumgardner and the complainant, and he opined releasing the report might not be in their best interests.

Senate Democrats claim the lack of action on the complaint indicates Republican leaders are unwilling to punish Baumgardner, who chairs both the Senate Transportation Committee and the Capital Development Committee. He also sponsors the Senate Republicans’ top priority bill, Senate Bill 1, on funding for transportation projects.

“No one in this room wants this behind us more than the Senate president,” Grantham said.

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.