AURORA | Colorado-based public radio station KUNC has uncovered more sexual harassment allegations in the Colorado Legislature, but this time with two state Senate Republicans, Jack Tate of Centennial and Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs.
Megan Creeden told the radio station she was a 25-year-old intern when Baumgardner made offhand comments about her to another colleague and pressured her to drink in his office. Six other female lobbyists and staffers anonymously told the station they also avoid him.
Baumgardner, chairman of the Transportation Committee and the Capital Development committee, strongly denied the allegations, KUNC said.
Tate is accused of acting inappropriately with an intern. After making suggestive remarks earlier, he allegedly told her that “if she wanted to move up in the world, give him a call,” according to KUNC.
Tate, chair of the Business Labor and Technology Committee, also held the allegations were untrue.
Senate President Kevin Grantham said in a statement his office is taking the allegations serious.
“Going forward, Senate Republican leaders cannot and will not be responding to unsubstantiated or anonymous allegations against members appearing in the press, which the existing complaint process is designed to handle,” he said in a statement. “This process exists to protect confidentiality, respect the rights of both accuser and accused, rigorously review the facts, give a fair hearing to all sides, and impose penalties proportionate to any confirmed offense. To handle these matters in any other way contradicts the basic tenets of fairness, justice, and due process for which America is known.”
It’s unclear whether Baumgardner or Tate will face losing their seats as committee chairs.
House Speaker Crisanta Duran called for Rep. Steve Lebsock’s resignation after removing from his position as chairman of the House Local Government Committee. Denver Rep. Faith Winter told KUNC he sexually harassed her at a party in 2016. Others were able to verify the story.
Denver Rep. Paul Rosenthaul was also accused of sexual harassment.
While there have been reports of some formal complaints on the legislators being filed, it’s not clear how many complaints have been filed. The Aurora Sentinel requested records from both the House and the Senate stating how many times harassment claims have been filed. The legislature’s legal counsel said that information was not available under the Colorado Open Records Act.