Martinez Humenik Wants Apology After Kagan Bathroom Complaint Report Finds 3 Incidents

September 21, 2018
Photo: Senate Bathroom Door | New Women's Sign - BBirkeland
Previously, this door did not have a sign that indicated it led to a women's restroom. Officials installed the standard placard to the right of the door that now properly labels its designation.

Published 8:54 a.m. | Updated 10:23 a.m.

A workplace harassment investigation at the Colorado legislature found it more likely than not that Democratic Sen. Daniel Kagan used the wrong restroom inside the state capitol three times during the 2017 legislative session.

Republican Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik released the report to CBS4 Thursday. KUNC first reported the workplace harassment complaint in March. Martinez Humenik said she decided to release it to the public to be transparent and hold Kagan accountable.

“Women must be able to feel comfortable and safe in their workplace environment.” She added that she would like a public apology and pledge that he not do it again.

“My hope has been that Senator Kagan would eventually admit that this was not a one-time incident, but he’s unwilling to do so, even in light of what’s in this report,” said Martinez Humenik in a statement.

The report was complete in early June — yet all parties had remained silent about the details up until now.

Martinez Humenik recounted an incident toward the end of the 2017 legislative session. She said she noticed a man’s shoes visible underneath one of the locked stalls and waited to see who it was.

“I confronted him in the bathroom itself and said, ‘What are you doing in here?’” Martinez Humenik said of Kagan. “Then, as we were walking out, I said, ‘It’s not OK for you to be here. I don’t want to see you here again.’”

She also alleged at the time that she was made aware that two other female staffers had similar experiences. Her colleague, Republican Sen. Owen Hill, also claimed to see Kagan exiting while shepherding his two young daughters to the restroom. Martinez Humenik told the investigator Hill’s comments factored into her decision to file the complaint.

Kagan admitted that he was in the restroom, which is designated for women, but said it only happened once. At the time, the restroom was unmarked and is a few feet away from the men’s restroom, which is also unmarked. A spokesman for the Colorado Senate Democrats said Sen. Kagan stands by what he had been saying all along.

“He mistakenly used the wrong unmarked restroom almost a year and half ago,” the spokesman said. “He has since apologized for this embarrassing mistake and looks forward to putting it behind him to focus on fighting for the people of Colorado.”

Employer’s Council, a private human resources firm completed the investigation June 5. Nearly three months later neither side was willing to release details about the investigation that cost Colorado nearly $8,000.

Colorado Public Radio is a member/client of Employer’s Council.

Workplace harassment allegations against four other state lawmakers were found credible last legislative session. Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham called Martinez Humenik courageous for filing the complaint given how much controversy the issue has generated at the capitol.

“She felt compelled to do it on behalf of a group of other women who also had encounters with Sen. Kagan in the ladies room which just isn’t acceptable behavior if we’re serious about creating a safe workplace at the capitol.”

Here is the investigator’s conclusion:

“Sen. Martinez Humenik’s allegation in this report demonstrates that she perceives Sen. Kagan has used the private, women-only restroom located adjacent to the Senate President’s Office on more than one occasion since his election to the Colorado Senate in November 2016. There is sufficient corroboration and support by neutral witnesses that Sen. Kagan engaged in such conduct on three occasions during the 2017 Legislative Session. Also, at times, Sen. Kagan’s own statements substantiate Sen. Martinez Humenik’s claim. However, there is no information suggesting that Sen. Kagan continued to engage in such conduct in 2018.”