Grantham Takes Bold New Steps to Combat Sexual Misconduct
DENVER, CO – Today, Republican lawmakers called for criminal investigations to be launched into allegations of unwanted sexual touching by members of the Colorado legislature.
Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham, alongside State Senators Beth Martinez Humenik and Vicki Marble, Colorado GOP Vice-Chair Sherrie Gibson, and members of the House Republican Caucus gathered in the West Foyer of the Capitol for the announcement.
“As representatives of the people of Colorado, elected officials should be held to a higher standard. When allegations of unwanted sexual contact are raised, we have no doubt they should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law. That is why today, we are calling on Denver District Attorney, Beth McCann, to launch a full scale investigation into these allegations of sexual harassment by both Republican and Democrat lawmakers in both chambers of our legislature,” said Senate President Kevin Grantham.
“The President and I have been working diligently to improve workplace harassment prevention measures and make the Capitol a safe, respectful workplace for all,” said Martinez Humenik. “I wholeheartedly support the President’s call on the District Attorney to investigate these very serious allegations and look forward to the outcome of her investigation.”
If evidence is found by the District Attorney to prosecute charges of sexual misconduct by members of the Colorado legislature and those members are found guilty of the allegations, Republican lawmakers are prepared to offer resolutions on the House and Senate floors to expel associated members of the legislature. Republicans will call on House and Senate Democrats to join them in support of these resolutions.
Last November, in coordination with State Senator Beth Martinez Humenik, Senate GOP lawmakers spearheaded an initiative to begin reforming the legislature’s workplace harassment policy. As part of this initiative, legislators and staff have already completed workplace harassment prevention training and the legislature’s first ever Human Resources Coordinator began last month. A comprehensive review of the legislature’s workplace harassment policy is currently underway by the independent Investigations Law Group (ILG), with initial findings and recommendations from the group due early April.
Republican leadership, today, called for additional steps to be taken to reform the legislature’s workplace harassment policy, beginning with the development of a best-in-the-nation model program to combat and address workplace harassment in the Colorado legislature. The best-in-the-nation approach will take the findings of ILG’s comprehensive review of the legislature’s workplace harassment policy, combined with a comprehensive review of academic, public, and private sector best practices, resulting in the development of final recommendations for development of a new policy to be voted on by members of both the House and Senate chambers before the end of the legislative session.
“Sexual harassment is far more than an inconvenience, a disruption, or an interference in the workplace. It has no place in our state Capitol and we must demand better from our elected leaders. I stand with President Grantham today and and my office will provide assistance at the District Attorney’s request. I fully expect any member of the legislature convicted of sexual misconduct to be removed by the legislative body,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.