By Shaun Boyd
DENVER (CBS4)– A Colorado state senator is demanding a public apology from a male colleague after an investigation found he used the women’s restroom on several occasions.
It comes after a string of allegations of workplace harassment in both chambers from both parties at the state Capitol over the last year.
Senator Beth Martinez Humenik, a Republican representing Thornton, says she was in a stall in the women’s restroom – located right beside the men’s restroom outside the Senate chamber – when someone came in and entered the stall next to her.
CBS4’s Shaun Boyd interviews Senator Beth Martinez Humenik (credit: CBS)
“And when I looked down, there were definitely a man’s shoes and a man’s suit pants.”
She soon learned the identity of that man, “Senator Kagan walked out. I asked, ‘What are you doing in there?’ and something about (mumble, mumble) not feeling good. As we’re walking out the door, I said, ‘Senator Kagan, this is not okay. I don’t want to see you in here again.’”
But Martinez Humenik says it did happen again and again and again. She says there were six reports.
“Something had to be done about it.”
She filed a workplace harassment complaint. According the investigative report CBS4 obtained, Sen. Kagan, a Democrat, admitted to using the women’s restroom once, saying he had a “gastrointestinal virus” and “the bathrooms at the capitol are a confusing business.”
But he says it didn’t happen again. He accused Republicans of retaliating because Democrats tried to oust one of their members for sexual misconduct.
Senator Beth Martinez Humenik (credit: CBS)
Martinez Humenik says it transcends politics, “It happened to female staffers on both sides of the aisle. It wasn’t just Republican staffers. It wasn’t just me.”
The investigative report found evidence of three instances.
“This needs to stop. It just needs to stop. Apologize and commit to not doing it anymore.”
Kagan did not respond to a call for comment. A spokesperson for the Senate Democrats released a statement, “Senator Kagan has said all along – he mistakenly used the wrong unmarked restroom almost a year and a half ago. He has since apologized for this embarrassing mistake and looks forward to putting it behind him.”
LINK: Kagan Investigation Report
Shaun Boyd is CBS4’s political specialist. She’s a veteran reporter with more than 25 years of experience. Follow her on Twitter @cbs4shaun.