2 more Colorado legislators accused of sexual harassment, KUNC reports

This time it was two Republican senators.

KUSA - Colorado State Senators Randy Baumgardner (R-Breckenridge) and Jack Tate (R-Centennial) have been accused of sexual harassment, reports Colorado NPR-affiliate KUNC.

Both Republican senators have strongly denied any wrongdoing, according to KUNC.

Seven female lobbyists and staffers who declined to be named in the KUNC story told the news agency they avoid Baumgardner and some said they wouldn't work alone with him.

One staffer, Megan Creeden, who was 25 at the time of the alleged incident, said Baumgardner pressured her to drink with him in his office in 2016 when they didn't know each other, KUNC reports. Creeden told KUNC she tried to avoid Baumgardner at the Capitol and is considering filing a formal complaint.

Creeden also told KUNC she overheard a conversation between a legislative aide and Baumgardner where the state senator lamented not being able to go home with Creeden after a private event at the University Club a few days earlier.

Baumgardner issued a blanket denial to KUNC and said he had done nothing he should be defending.

RELATED | Colorado House Speaker on why she promoted Lebsock, despite allegations

A former intern who was 18-years-old at the time of the alleged incident told KUNC anonymously that Tate would act inappropriately with her over a two-and-a-half month period last year and once told her to give him a call if she wanted to move up in the world.

She also claims he complimented her skirt while the two shared an elevator on her first day as an intern, KUNC reports.

The former intern spoke anonymously, KUNC says, because she could be involved in an unrelated sexual assault case with a different person.

Tate texted KUNC in response to the allegations and said he's not aware of making anyone uncomfortable.

"I have the utmost respect for the men and women who I work with on a daily basis," he told KUNC.

These are the third and fourth allegations against members of the Colorado legislature in the past week and a half. Prior to this, Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock was accused by multiple women of inappropriate touching and comments. 

Lebsock apologized for his actions in a news release. He's running to be the state treasurer but said he'll make an announcement about his candidacy at the end of this month.

RELATED | Second Colorado lawmaker accused of sexual misconduct

Earlier this week, Democratic Rep. Paul Rosenthal was accused of inappropriate contact with another man at a political event back in late 2011 or early 2012. 

A lawyer for Rosenthal denied the allegations and added his client would take a polygraph test if need be. 

Rosenthal has been temporarily removed from his place as vice chair of the House Local Government Committee.

Lebsock has been temporarily removed from his post as chairman of the House Local Government Committee.

Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran promoted Lebsock to that position last year despite knowing about the allegations by Rep. Winter against him. As a result, The Aurora Sentinel has called on her to resign.

Baumgardner is the chair of the Transportation and Capital Development committees.

Tate is the chair of the Business, Labor & Technology committee.

Editor's note: this article has been clarified to specify which accusation against Lebsock was known to Duran prior to the promotion she gave him.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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