The Latest: Colorado lawmakers studying misconduct policy
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on recommended changes to the Colorado Legislature’s workplace harassment policy (all times local):
Separating legislative leaders from the disciplinary process for sexual and workplace harassment is one recommendation presented to Colorado lawmakers.
A report by the Denver-based Investigations Law Group presented Thursday also calls for public release of both investigative results and disciplinary decisions involving lawmakers accused of misconduct.
Colorado’s Legislature commissioned the consulting group’s study after misconduct allegations involving lawmakers from both major parties surfaced before the 2018 session.
The report suggests that bipartisan panels, rather than leaders of parties that control each chamber, decide what punishment offending lawmakers should face. It said current policy that leaves it to each chamber’s leaders can create the impression of a political element in that decision, rightly or wrongly.
Lawmakers had hoped to use the report to adopt a new harassment policy before the session ends May 9. But they strongly suggested Thursday that work on a new policy will take longer than that.
As the Colorado Legislature grapples with sexual misconduct allegations, lawmakers are set to receive recommended changes to the workplace harassment policy.
Lawmakers hope to use an outside report being presented Thursday as a blueprint for a new policy.
Five Colorado lawmakers have been accused of misconduct. One was expelled and a second survived an expulsion vote.
Colorado’s policy considers allegations, investigations and punishment confidential and off-limits to the public. It’s up to the accuser whether to release his or her complaint. It defines offensive conduct, but leaves it up to chamber leaders to decide what punishment, if any, to mete out.
Legislators vow to have an updated policy in hand before the 2018 session ends in May.