State won’t divulge number of sex harassment claims at the Capitol, saying no such record exists

The Aurora Sentinel: There have been at least a handful of formal sexual harassment complaints filed against Colorado lawmakers in recent weeks amidst a national wave of sexual harassment allegations, but beyond those it’s nearly impossible to tell how prevalent sexual harassment complaints are under Denver’s gold dome.

While specific information about personnel issues, such as a sexual harassment complaint, are generally off limits to the public, the state Legislature couldn’t even provide data on how many complaints there have been.

The Aurora Sentinel sent a Colorado Open Records Act request to House Speaker Crisanta Duran and Senate President Kevin Grantham asking how many formal complaints their respective office has received since 2014.

The Office of Legislative Legal Services, which acts as general counsel for the Legislature, declined to offer any records, citing a statute that explains, “any records of sexual harassment complaints and investigations, whether or not such records are maintained as part of a personnel file” aren’t available to the public.

But that same statute says it does not rule out records that are the result of an investigation of the general employment policies and procedures, so long as that information doesn’t disclose the identity of individuals involved.

When the Sentinel asked for the records again, citing that portion of the statute, attorneys responded by saying no such list of how many formal complaints have been filed exists, and policy dictates that, “a document will not ordinarily be created in order to respond to (a public records) request.”

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