CENTENNIAL, CO — A intern’s complaint that Colorado State Sen. Jack Tate (R-Centennial) commented on her clothing and touched her multiple times during the 2017 legislative session was found credible in January. The intern was 18 years old at the time, and remained anonymous because she feared retribution, KUNC reported Friday.
Independent investigating group Employers Council said it was "more likely than not" that Tate engaged in the sexually aggressive behavior toward the intern, the radio station reported from the Jan. 31 document KUNC obtained from the accuser.
"more likely than not that in early 2017, Jack Tate said to the [complainant], while alone with her in the elevator: ‘I like the way that skirt looks on you.’ More likely than not that in March of 2017, Jack Tate nudged the [complainant], looked her up and down and acted flirtatious. More likely than not that between January and early April of 2017, Jack Tate put his hand on the [complainant’s] shoulder multiple times. More likely than not that around March of 2017, Jack Tate nudged the [complainant] around her waist or rib area, around seven or eight times."
The former intern told the radio station she did not want to harm Tate’s political career.
"My point was this behavior needs correction. As an intern or aide you don’t have the power to say that. Anyone who says that you do is lying. As an intern you’re not paid, you’re just there for experiences."
Tate did not respond to requests from Patch or other news outlets regarding the report.
He did issue a statement in mid-November when his name first surfaced in reports about alleged sexual harassment in the Colorado Capitol, posting on Facebook:
I’m not aware of any instance in which I made anyone feel uncomfortable. In fact, in my 3 years at the capitol, no person has ever complained or brought to my attention that I caused discomfort of any kind. Had someone indicated to me that I was making him or her or someone else feel uncomfortable, I would have happily addressed the matter at that time. I value my good relationships at the workplace and have the utmost respect for the many men and women with whom I work on a daily basis. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and associates in a positive way going forward.
After the original report naming Tate in November, several female lobbyists and a colleague in the legislature defended Tate on the Colorado Politics website. Further research from KUNC found five of the women had lobbied for business before a committee Tate chairs, and three had donated to his campaigns.
State Sen. President Kevin Grantham complained about Employers Council’s methodology when the group found accusations against Sen. Roy Baumgardner credible.
Grantham said in a letter that the consulting company’s methodology was filled with "inaccuracies, bias, conflicts of interest, and inconsistencies." Nevertheless, Baumgardner was asked to step down from his position as chair of the Transportation Committee and ordered to undergo "sensitivity training."
KUNC reported that a male staffer filed a formal complaint Feb. 21 against Baumgardner that the lawmaker created an offensive and hostile work environment.
More on Patch:
Colo. Sen Baumgardner Steps Down From Committee, Won’t Resign
Who’s Accused? Colorado Lawmaker Sex Harassment Roundup
Image Jack Tate via Colorado State Senate