Intern alleges inappropriate sexual behavior by Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a Grand County resident
Sen. Randy Baumgardner, Grand County’s state senator, has been accused of sexual misconduct related to his alleged treatment of a Capitol Hill intern as a series of misconduct allegations, involving numerous other men, swirl around the Colorado legislature.
Late last week, Colorado media outlet KUNC released a report containing allegations of sexual harassment made against two state senators, Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs) and Jack Tate (R-Centenntial). The accusations against Baumgardner were made by Megan Creeden, a legislative intern who was 25 at the time of the alleged incidents.
Creeden claimed that in 2016 she had multiple “uncomfortable encounters” with Baumgardner during which the senator allegedly pressured her to drink with him in his office.
She also alleged Baumgardner made comments that she deemed inappropriate prior to a Senate Committee hearing. In that incident, Creeden alleged Baumgardner told a legislative aide, Scott Merrifield, that he was disappointed he had not gone home from an event at the University Club near the Capitol with Creeden and instead went home alone.
Creeden was sitting beside Merrifield when Baumgardner, who resides in Grand County, made that alleged remark.
Merrifield confirmed with media outlets that he heard the remark and called it “out of place.”
The allegations Creeden has levied against Baumgardner do not include any allegations of sexual assault or inappropriate physical contact. Creeden has not filed a formal complaint, telling media outlets she instead tried to avoid Baumgardner. Creeden said she is still considering filing a formal complaint.
For his part Baumgardner denies the allegations made against him in statements he made to the Sky-Hi News through state Republican party officials.
“I don’t recall events unfolding as she describes them, with all due respect to her” Baumgardner stated. “And I can assure you that it was never my intention to make anyone I associated with at the Capitol feel uncomfortable, in this or any other situation.”
Baumgardner went on to state he always aims to, “conduct myself in an honorable, above-board manner that will make my constituents proud.” Baumgardner stated he has nothing but respect for his female colleagues, “and for the women I work with regularly on staff, in the lobby and in the press corps.”
“I would just ask open-minded people to understand that this is a one-sided subjective account of events, which didn’t result in any complaint, any fact-finding, any due process or fair hearing for me at all,” the senator stated. “Most people understand that an allegation is just an allegation under our rules of justice, which ought to apply in this case as well.”
Baumgardner stated he is not trying to “fault” Creeden for speaking up, “but it’s also important to defend myself against accusation that just don’t have merit.”
The allegations against Baumgardner and Tate are only two of the most recent allegations in a series of misconduct claims that have begun to emerge.
Colorado’s political world was shaken in early November after Rep. Faith Winter, a Democrat, claimed Rep. Steve Lebsock, a fellow Democrat, accosted her at a party in 2016 while celebrating the end of the legislative session. It was reported Lebsock made lewd remarks and physically grabbed Winter.
Additional women have since publicly accused Lebsock of misconduct and two have filed formal complaints with the state legislature.
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