Sen. Baumgardner steps down from committee chairmanship, but won’t resign amid sexual harassment allegations | PostIndependent.com

Sen. Baumgardner steps down from committee chairmanship, but won’t resign amid sexual harassment allegations

John Frank
The Denver Post
Sen. Randy Baumgardner
Staff Photo |

Colorado state Sen. Randy Baumgardner voluntarily stepped down from his post as transportation committee chairman Tuesday after an outside investigation supported a complaint for sexual harassment.

“I want to stress something at this point that the allegations made against me in this complaint are not true,” he said, adding that he will also attend sensitivity training, per a request from Republican leaders.

The decision came after mounting pressure from Democrats who last week demanded that Baumgardner resign and criticized Senate President Kevin Grantham for taking weeks to decide whether to punish his Republican colleague.

The complaint from a former legislative aide alleges that Baumgardner slapped and grabbed her buttocks numerous times during the 2016 legislative session inside the Capitol during work hours. A third-party investigation finished in January substantiated the complaint.

But in a blistering assessment, Grantham — the top Republican lawmaker in Colorado — said he had concerns about the final report’s “inaccuracies, bias, conflicts of interest and inconsistencies.” The letter, provided by Baumgardner and signed by Senate GOP leaders Tuesday, said “we deem the matter closed.”

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