Oregon Senator Jeff Kruse resigns and will leave office on March 15 after investigation found he harassed female colleagues and hugged and groped them in public areas of the Senate

Friday, February 9, 2018
By Paul Martin

Democratic state senators Elizabeth Steiner Hayward and Sara Gelser accused Kruse of sexual harassment last fall
An independent investigation found the senator engaged in a ‘longstanding pattern of unwelcome physical contact’
Kruse said in a statement Thursday that he denies the allegations
He allegedly told the investigator his behavior was ‘instinctual’ and that ‘It’s not easy to change when you have been doing something for 67 years’

9 February 2018

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. His resignation is effective March 15.

The move comes after an investigative report documented allegations that Kruse harassed or groped female colleagues while talking to them in public areas of the Senate.

The investigation also found that Kruse continued the behavior despite warnings, and escalated his harassment of female colleagues after being told not to touch women at work.

Kruse, a Republican from Roseburg, who has served more than 20 years in the Oregon Senate, had been stripped of his committee assignments by the Senate president late last year because of the complaints.

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick praised the women who spoke up about the harassment.

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