Duran: Harassment culture at state Capitol must change

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DENVER -- Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran said a state Capitol culture that allows workplace harassment must change.

The Denver Democrat drew applause in declaring on Wednesday's opening day of the Colorado Legislature that "there is no place for harassment, hate speech or discrimination in this chamber."

She and other legislative leaders are reviewing the Legislature's workplace harassment policy after allegations of sexual harassment against a handful of lawmakers in the state House and Senate.

Duran said people in the United States are speaking out like never before about harassment, sexism and discrimination.

"Let our actions show that the intolerable will be tolerated no more," she said.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville is welcoming reforms, but he insists there should be due process for those accused.

Neville said he shares a sense of outrage about stories of bad behavior.

However, he said that when accusations are made in the building where state law is made, due process must be followed so the complaints are fairly and objectively handled.

A number of investigations are continuing into alleged wrongdoing by lawmakers in both chambers.

While top Democrats have called on at least one lawmaker -- Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock -- to resign, GOP leaders have said confidential investigations into formal complaints should be allowed to play out.

Lawmakers have undertaken a review of the Legislature's workplace harassment policy.

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