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Resolution to expel Sen. Randy Baumgardner fails

The resolution failed 17 to 17.

A resolution to expel a member of the Colorado legislature accused of sexual harassment failed.

On Monday evening, Senate Resolution 3 was introduced. The title is "Expulsion of Senator Randy L. Baumgardner: Concerning the expulsion of Senator Randy L. Baumgardner for sexual harassment of a legislative employee."

The resolution's main sponsor, Sen. Irene Aguilar (D-Denver), asked for the three-page resolution to be read aloud in full.

The resolution failed 17 to 17 around 9 p.m. It needed 24 votes to pass. The Senate is made up of 18 Republicans, 16 Democrats and one Independent -- Sen. Cheri Jahn. A vote to expel a member of the legislature requires two-thirds of the chamber to agree.

The resolution included copy of a complaint by a former legislative aide who said Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs) had grabbed and slapped her buttocks on four separate occasions during the 2016 legislative session.

A third-party investigation found that the claims were "more likely than not" to have occurred. Baumgardner stepped down as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and agreed to take sensitivity training.

"I deny the allegations levied against me. However as I have done before, I have apologized if I have said anything during my time here that was unintentionally given offense or made someone feel uncomfortable," Baumgardner said on Monday.

Senator Lois Court read a statement from the victim who wrote about some health issues.

“I still believe in the basic good of the average Coloradan and senator. Why? Because this state gave me the opportunity to get health care and an incredible education," the statement read. "The question now that the Colorado senate knows the truth: will it act to protect its young employees?“

Senate Democrats called for Baumgardner to be expelled like former Rep. Steve Lebsock, who was expelled by the House one month ago today.

Lebsock was also accused of sexual harassment and multiple claims were found "more likely than not" to have occurred in his case as well.

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