Colorado Senate Dems Call For Resignation Of GOP Lawmaker Accused Of Harassment

· Feb. 8, 2018, 8:35 pm
Photo: Sen. Randy Baumgardner (AP Photo)(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Republican State Sen. Randy Baumgardner on the opening day of the 2016 Colorado Legislature, at the Capitol, in Denver, in January 2016.

Colorado Senate Democrats are calling for the resignation of Republican Sen. Randy Baumgardner.

KUNC reports a former legislative aide says Baumgardner, who represents Hot Sulfur Springs, slapped and grabbed her buttocks multiple times in 2016. The Employers Council, an outside legal firm, wrapped up an investigation into the allegation earlier this month. The group found the claim credible, according to KUNC.

In a statement, Senate Democrats say Republican leaders have delayed and rebuffed efforts to punish Baumgardner. 

"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."

The Democratic caucus called for Baumgardner to step down. In the meantime, they want Senate leaders to strip him of his committee chairmanships.

On Thursday, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman said she no longer wants to be part of any deliberations to punish Baumgardner. That's a reversal for Guzman, who had pushed to be more included in the discussions. She now says she is too frustrated with the process to provide an objective opinion. 

"This has just been lagging and lagging," she said in an interview.

Earlier this week, Senate President Kevin Grantham declined to commit to releasing the results of the investigation or any final determination on Baumgardner. Grantham has yet to respond to the latest calls for Baumgardner's resignation.

Two other sitting lawmakers, Republican Sen. Jack Tate and Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock, face formal harassment complaints.

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