Lawmaker to Stay Away From Capitol During Probe

Republicans in the Oregon Senate say one of their members who is accused of groping women in the Capitol will stay away from the building until the investigative process is completed.

Posted: Feb. 7, 2018 5:27 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Latest on an Oregon state senator accused of groping women at the Capitol (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Republicans in the Oregon Senate say one of their members who is accused of groping women in the Capitol will stay away from the building until the investigative process is completed.

The Republican Senate caucus said Wednesday it has accepted Sen. Jeff Kruse's offer to not be in the Capitol building pending the conclusion of the review.

A Senate panel will hold a hearing on the matter on Feb. 22.

A report from an independent investigator says Kruse subjected two female senators to unwanted touching and groped or gave lingering hugs to many women working at the Capitol.

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11:50 a.m.

A newspaper has reported that an Oregon state lawmaker accused of groping women at the Capitol said he won't resign, despite calls from the governor and others that he leave the Legislature.

Sen. Jeff Kruse, a Republican from Roseburg, told his hometown newspaper The News-Review on Wednesday that he will not step down.

Kruse was absent from the Senate floor as it met, and no one was in his office.

Kruse didn't immediately return an email from The Associated Press late Tuesday seeking comment.

An official investigative report released Tuesday said he had subjected two female senators to unwanted touching and groped or gave lingering hugs to many women working at the Capitol.

Gov. Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek have called on Kruse to resign.

He said he has significant issues with the report and will respond to it.

___

11:54 p.m.

A new report from an independent investigator says state Sen. Jeff Kruse not only subjected two female senators to unwanted touching, he groped or gave lingering hugs to many women working at the Oregon Capitol.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the findings of Dian Rubanoff, the investigator and an employment law attorney, were released Tuesday.

Two Democratic Oregon senators publicly accused Kruse last fall of sexual misconduct, saying he subjected them to unwanted touching and inappropriate close contact. A formal complaint filed by Sen. Sara Gelser in November triggered a requirement that a legislative committee arrange for an outside investigation of her claims.

Kruse didn't immediately return an email from The Associated Press late Tuesday night seeking comment.

Tuesday's report is scheduled for consideration by the Senate Conduct Committee Feb. 22.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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