State Sen. Kagan formally accused of harassment

Lawmaker alleged to have been in women's restroom multiple times at Capitol

Posted 4/20/18

Two Republican state senators have accused state Sen. Daniel Kagan of being inside a restroom for female legislators and staff at the state Capitol, one filing a formal sexual-harassment complaint …

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State Sen. Kagan formally accused of harassment

Lawmaker alleged to have been in women's restroom multiple times at Capitol

Posted

Two Republican state senators have accused state Sen. Daniel Kagan of being inside a restroom for female legislators and staff at the state Capitol, one filing a formal sexual-harassment complaint against him.

State Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, R-Thornton, said she filed the complaint, public-radio station KUNC reported last month. Toward the end of the 2017 legislative session, Martinez Humenik noticed a man's shoes underneath one of the stalls and confronted Kagan, she told KUNC.

Kagan, D-Cherry Hills Village, has admitted he was in the restroom but said it only happened once and accidentally, and that he was new to the Senate at the time. The room was not marked with a label identifying it as a women's restroom.

State Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, said he saw Kagan exit that restroom at another point in 2017 while Hill was unlocking it for his daughters during a visit to the Capitol.

Kagan has denied the accusation he was in the women's restroom more than once. He did not respond to requests for comment from Colorado Community Media. Kagan represents state Senate District 26, which includes Englewood, Littleton, the Columbine Valley area, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village and part of southwest Aurora.

In 2017, the women's restroom was accessible using a unisex code or a legislative key card, but staff said the lock was broken at times, KUNC reported. Martinez Humenik asked for the code to be changed a few weeks before mid-March, and it was, the Greeley-based station wrote.

A conservative political organization called Compass Colorado published a post on its website April 5 that said records provided to the organization after it filed an open-records request with the Colorado State Patrol contradict Kagan's claim of only being in the restroom once.

The patrol reorganized door access for Senate rooms and removed Kagan's access to the restroom, the post said. A Feb. 23 email between communication supervisor for the patrol and Effie Ameen, the non-partisan secretary of the Senate, discloses that information, the post said.

In February, Ameen contacted the supervisor in a phone call to see if the door's code could be changed. Ameen said Kagan had “been frequently accessing the bathroom,” the post said.

Ameen told 9News she was told Kagan was in the bathroom by someone else in the Senate and that she wasn't told how many times. Ameen wished to give no comment on the matter to Colorado Community Media.

Democrats and Kagan have painted the accusation of sexual harassment as a politically motivated response to Senate Republicans being investigated for harassment.

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