The Latest: Oregon legislator’s resignation effective March
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on an Oregon state senator accused of inappropriate behavior (all times local):
Sen. Jeff Kruse said in a letter to Secretary of State Dennis Richardson that his resignation is effective March 15.
An investigative report documented allegations that Kruse harassed female colleagues while talking to them in public areas of the Senate.
Kruse wrote that after next Tuesday the resignation is irrevocable.
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick praised the women who spoke up about the harassment.
“Women showed incredible courage to come out with their experiences, and hopefully this will provide them with some comfort,” the Democrat told reporters.
The president of the Oregon state Senate said Sen. Jeff Kruse made the right decision in resigning after an investigation determined he had harassed women in the Capitol building with hugging, groping and other physical contact.
Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, said the resignation by the long-serving Republican ends a difficult chapter for the Legislature but the discussion on ending harassment must continue.
Jackie Winters, the state Senate Republican leader in the Legislature dominated by Democrats, thanked Kruse for his 22 years of service.
Winters said lawmakers must work to provide a safe work environment for everyone.
An Oregon state senator says he is resigning after an investigation determined he had harassed multiple women in the Capitol building with prolonged hugging, groping and other unwelcome physical contact.
Sen. Jeff Kruse said in a statement Thursday that he denies the allegations, but he is stepping down so his colleagues may focus on serving Oregonians without distraction.
An investigative report released Tuesday documented allegations that he harassed female colleagues while talking to them in public areas of the Senate.
Kruse, a Republican from Roseburg, Oregon, had been stripped of his committee assignments by the Senate president late last year because of the complaints.
An Oregon legislator first elected more than two decades ago is facing sanctions after allegations of inappropriate behavior that one female colleague says spanned years.
Sen. Sara Gelser, a Democrat from the college town of Corvallis, says Sen. Jeff Kruse has harassed many women in the Capitol through prolonged hugs and other unwanted touching. She filed an informal complaint two years ago and Kruse was warned by Legislature’s lawyers and human resources not to touch women in the Capitol.
But he didn’t stop, Gelser says.
Last fall, Gelser filed a formal complaint against Kruse following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against men in power.
An investigative report released Tuesday documented wider harassment.
Kruse didn’t return an email seeking comment from The Associated Press but has said previously that he won’t step down.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com