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State Sen. Daniel Kagan, Accused Of Using Women's Restroom, Resigning In New Year

Courtesy of the Office of Sen. Daniel Kagan

Democratic State Sen. Daniel Kagan announced Wednesday evening he is resigning from the legislature next month.

In a statement announcing his departure, the lawmaker from Cherry Hills Village didn't give a specific reason for stepping down. But Kagan found himself making headlines last year for using the wrong restroom at the Capitol.

Kagan represents Senate District 26, which includes suburbs in Arapahoe County south of the city of Denver. Kagan said he plans to step down on Jan. 11, one week after the start of the legislative session.

Kagan was accused last session of repeatedly using a private restroom designated for women at the Capitol. In March, Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, R-Thornton, filed a workplace sexual harassment complaint against Kagan after she discovered him using the women's restroom. Martinez Humenik alleged Kagan used the wrong restroom multiple times.

Kagan said he accidentally used the restroom, which was unmarked and near a men's restroom that was also unmarked.

He apologized and said he was embarrassed by the mistake.

Kagan is stepping down just two years into his four-year senate term. He was first elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2009.

A vacancy committee will choose Kagan's replacement.

Kagan's full statement:

It's been a great honor to serve the people of Colorado for just short of a decade. 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. I am comfortable with my decision, largely because I know that we have no shortage of individuals in Arapahoe County who would do a superb job of representing the people of Senate District 26.

Editor's Note: This story was updated on Dec. 6 to reflect that a vacancy committee will be formed to name Kagan's replacement.

Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Eleven public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

Copyright 2018 KUNC

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.