Colorado State Senator Accused of Repeated Use of Women’s Restrooms Is Resigning

December 6, 2018 Updated: December 6, 2018

Colorado state Sen. Daniel Kagan, who was accused of repeatedly using women’s bathrooms inside the Statehouse, has announced that he is resigning.

A representative told the Denver Post on Dec. 5 that Kagan’s resignation is effective Jan. 11, 2019.

“It’s been a great honor to serve the people of Colorado for just short of a decade,” Kagan said in a statement, according to the Post. “An important obligation of leaders, I believe, is to be open to acknowledging that it’s time to pass the torch to new leadership and, for me, that time is now.”

Kagan had served most of four terms in the House before he won election to the Senate District 26 seat in 2016. His statement made no reference to any allegations of misconduct.

The Accusations

News of the resignation follows accusations earlier this year by female colleagues of the Democratic lawmaker that he entered a women’s restroom on multiple occasions.

Republican state Sen. Beth Martinez-Humenik said several women claimed to have seen Kagan using a women’s toilet more than once since January 2017. Martinez-Humenik also claims she saw Kagan in the bathroom multiple times last year, according to a report by Colorado Public Radio (CPR). In March, she filed a complaint against Kagan, alleging workplace sexual harassment.

Sen. Owen Hill, also a Republican, is another lawmaker who claims to have witnessed Kagan’s alleged encroachments on a space intended for use by women. Hill said he was taking his young daughters to an unlabeled women’s room in the Statehouse last year when Kagan allegedly came through the door.

“I will no longer let my girls use this bathroom,” Hill said at the time, as cited by CPR.

Kagan was reported by the station as saying he’d entered the women’s restroom just once by mistake because the facilities weren’t marked. He said it was an innocent mistake and that when he realized his error, he “shamefacedly and sheepishly” left.

According to a report by Denver’s KUSA-TV, the incident prompted the state Senate to post signs outside its restrooms indicating which were intended for “men” or for “women.”

‘Still Waiting on His Apology’

“I asked for a public apology to all involved, not a resignation,” Martinez-Humenik said, according to The Post. “We are still waiting on his apology.”

A Republican spokesman said Kagan should have apologized, and suggested the Democrat preferred to resign rather than deal with the accusations.

“Kagan wronged her and others,” said Daniel Cole, “and he should acknowledge their experience instead of just resigning to avoid having to look at them.”

A ‘Nothing Burger’

Kagan has said that the case of his alleged intrusions into women’s bathrooms is, in reality, an attempt to take the heat off Republican senators, at least three of whom have faced formal complaints so far this year.

“I fear that what they are doing is looking around for something to distract attention from that, but I can’t look inside their minds,” he said, according to CPR. “All I know is they seem to be making a mountain out of less than a molehill.”

Several of Kagan’s Democratic colleagues agree, including Sen. Rhonda Fields, who called the story a “nothing burger.”

“Many butt-slappers and thigh-strokers fancy that they are merely flirting and flattering,” Kagan said before the Senate, in remarks that CPR reported had irked some of Kagan’s colleagues.

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