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Dem leader steps down, says she can’t work with GOP

"I have to leave due to my moral compass and I can no longer work with Republicans."

Colorado’s state Senate minority leader quit her post Thursday morning, saying she made the decision in part because she can’t work with Republicans anymore after their handling of sexual harassment accusations.

“I have to leave due to my moral compass and I can no longer work with Republicans,” said Sen. Lucia Guzman (D-Denver.) “Put somebody in there that can look these people in the eye.”

Guzman stepped aside from her leadership post and Sen. Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) was elected the new minority leader in a hastily-called meeting of Democratic members Thursday morning at the Capitol.

Guzman said she was particularly concerned about what she calls “false” allegations of sexual harassment against Sen. Daniel Kagan (D-Cherry Hills Village.)

Republicans, facing pressure from Democrats to punish their own members of accusations of sexual harassment, accused Kagan of repeatedly and inappropriately entering the women’s restroom at the Capitol.

Democrats say Kagan accidentally entered the restroom once. The restroom in question is not meant for the general public and is not marked with signage.

On Thursday, Democrats continued their daily call for the senate to take up a resolution to expel Sen. Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs.)

Baumgardner has been accused of inappropriately touching an aide’s body, allegations that an outside investigator deemed likely to have occurred.

Republicans have called for a criminal investigation to be conducted before taking action to punish Baumgardner or other members accused of harassment.

Democrats in the state House of Representatives expelled Steve Lebsock earlier this year over accusations of sexual harassment, the first expulsion of a Colorado state legislature in more than a century.

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