If you have a news tip send us an email at: tips@oregoncapitalinsider.com


Pressure mounts as Kruse stays away from Legislature

'Building into this idea that this is somehow political games or a political process demeans the victims who waited to be able to speak up until somebody opened the door for them to do that.'

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Roseburg Republican Sen. Jeff Kruse, right, has decided to stay away from the Legislature until a Feb. 22 hearing in Salem. Kruse is under pressure to resign.SALEM — Amid mounting pressure to vacate his Senate seat in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, state Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, plans to avoid the state capitol building until he is scheduled to appear in about two weeks before a Senate panel on conduct.

Senate Republicans said Wednesday, Feb. 7, they decided to accept Kruse's offer to stay away from the state capitol building in the coming weeks after discussing the results of an outside investigation into Kruse's behavior, which was made public Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The Senate Republican caucus on Wednesday condemned the behavior but stopped short of calling for Kruse's resignation. "The behavior alleged in the report, if true, is obviously not acceptable to the Senate Republican caucus," the statement said.

Kruse was formally accused of unwanted touching by two female senators — Sens. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton — last fall. He could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - State Sen. Sara Gelser says an outside report on Sen. Jeff Kruse's behavior toward women shows that victims of abuse should be believed. Gelser accused Kruse of assault.

Men should speak up

According to the report on Kruse's behavior, prepared by an outside attorney and funded by the Legislature, other women working in the capitol also reported that Kruse subjected them to unwanted touching and hugging. The investigator described a pattern of inappropriate behavior that "escalated" even after Kruse was warned to stop touching women at work.

Among other behaviors, women reported that Kruse would touch heads with them, or give them prolonged hugs, or whisper in their ears. One lobbyist reported that Kruse groped her behind at an event at the governor's office in September, a year and a half after he was initially warned to stop touching women at work, according to the report.

Gelser told reporters on Wednesday that she objected to the suggestion in the Republicans' statement that the allegations she and other women made may not be true. "To have a caucus response that says 'if true,' when you have a series of substantiated findings by an independent investigator who found substantial evidence that these things were true and corroborated sends a terrible message to women and men in any workplace that may want to speak up," Gelser said.

She said that the independent investigator — attorney Dian Rubanoff of Lake Oswego firm Peck, Rubanoff & Hatfield — did a "thorough" investigation and fact-finding, and the job of the Senate Committee on Conduct was to determine "what the sanction should be."

"Building into this idea that this is somehow political games or a political process demeans the victims who waited to be able to speak up until somebody opened the door for them to do that," Gelser said. "This issue is too important to turn into a political issue. It is not a partisan issue, it's a workplace issue."

No longer an 'effective leader'

KRUSEGelser initially reported her concerns about touching by Kruse to legislative employee services privately in 2016. In her complaint, she said Kruse had subjected her to years of unwanted touching.

Several of Kruse's colleagues on both sides of the aisle, as well as the governor, have called for his resignation. One member of the Senate Republican Caucus, Sen. Tim Knopp of Bend, called for Kruse's resignation in remarks Wednesday, and asked Kruse in a statement to not "force the Senate to have a Conduct Committee process and make the victims share these personally painful incidents publicly."

State Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Fall Creek, who represents part of Kruse's Senate district in the House of Representatives, said in a public statement Wednesday that Kruse should resign. "It's clear after reading the investigative report that Sen. Kruse can no longer be an effective leader for his district, and for rural Oregon," Hayden said. "The people of his district, and Roseburg, a community we both represent, are being shortchanged. Moreover, women in our Capitol — lawmakers, advocates and the visiting public — need to know that the elected leaders in our state will not tolerate an environment where their safety is at risk."

Senate President Peter Courtney stripped Kruse of his committee assignments in October. Kruse's office door was also removed because he continued to smoke in the building after warnings that it violated state rules. The actions were taken in response to what Courtney said was Kruse's failure to modify his behavior around women and his continued violation of clean air rules.

Re-evaluating its process

Kruse's power to help formulate public policies is weaker due to his prior removal from committees. Now that he is avoiding the Capitol, he will also not participate in votes for or against legislation on the floor of the Senate for those two weeks, which make up a substantial part of the short, up-to-35-day session that began Monday.

Two Republican members of the conduct committee, Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, and Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Athena, recused themselves from the caucus discussion of the report. The committee is chaired by Democratic Senator Mark Hass, of Beaverton. The fourth member is Sen. James Manning, Jr. D-Eugene.

The Conduct Committee meeting is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Gelser and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, D-Portland, have said the Legislature ought to re-evaluate its process for handling sexual harassment complaints. "I think that we have a lot to learn from this," Gelser said. "Our process needs to be better."

Capital Bureau reporter Paris Achen contributed to this story.

Access your account

Subscriber Login

cialiscialis couponcialis genericcialis dosagegeneric cialiscialis costcialis vs viagracialis pricescialis side effectscialis couponscialis 30 day sampleviagra vs cialiscialis onlinecialis pillscialis samplesbuy cialiscialis 20 mgcialis patent expirationcialis coupons printablecialis for daily usecialis samples overnightcheap cialiscost of cialis200 cialis couponcialis dailycialis 20mggeneric cialis at walmartcealiscialis canadacialis trialhow does cialis workwhen will cialis go genericcialis on lineside effects of cialiscialis 30 day trial couponcialis 5mgcialis for mencialasbuy cialis onlinecialis for salecialis patent expiration date extendedhow to take cialiscialis pricecialis from canadahow much does cialis costfree cialisviagra vs cialis vs levitracialis reviewscialis coupons from manufacturerwhat is cialiscialis pills for salecialis patent expiration 2017canadian cialiscialis tadalafilcialis or viagrageneric for cialiscialis professionalcialis free trialcialis medicationciliascialis for bphcialis coupons 2017cyaliscialis dosage strengthscialis discountgeneric cialis tadalafildiscount cialiscialis dosage recommendationscialis 5 mgonline cialiscialis canadian pharmacycialis copay cardlowest cialis pricescialis for womencialis generic availabilitycialis vouchercialis savings cardcialis 10 mgcialis websitecialis generic tadalafilliquid cialisdaily cialisviagra cialiscialis otcerectile dysfunction cialiscialis 5mg dailycanada cialiscialis coupon 20 mgcialis pricingcialis coupon printviamedic cialiscialis cheapcialis pharmacy pricescialis 20mg directionsprice cialiscialis samplewholesale cialiscialis alternativecialis effectscialis testimonialslevitralevitra couponlevitra 20 mglevitra 20mgbuy levitralevitra priceslevitra genericlevitra onlinelevitra vs viagrageneric levitralevitra couponslevitra rezeptfrei deutschlandlevitra 10 mg prezzocheap levitra9 levitra at walmartlevitra erfahrungenlevitra dosageviagra vs cialis vs levitrageneric levitra vardenafil 20mgwhat works better than viagrabuy levitra onlinelevitra without a doctor prescriptionbuy generic levitralevitra 20mg cost per pillvardenafil 20mglevitra prezzo in farmacialevitra 20 mg precio farmaciavardenafil vs viagralevitra 20 mg cost walmartlevitra vs viagra for hardnesslevitra bayer 20mg meilleur prixlevitra 20 mg von bayerviagrageneric viagraviagra genericviagra couponsviagra without a doctor prescriptionviagra onlineequipe argentine viagraviagra pricesbuy viagracialis vs viagracheap viagraviagra pillsviagra samplesviagra side effectswhat is viagraviagra couponviagra naturalviagra dosageviagra for sale uknatural viagrabuy viagra onlinegeneric viagra 100mgfemale viagrahow does viagra workhow to use viagraviagra activateherbal viagraviagra tabletssophia viagraviagra sans ordonnanceviagra kaufenviagra tabletviagra vs cialisonline viagracanadian viagraviagra for womenviagra ohne rezept aus deutschlandpfizer viagraviagra 100mgviagra costfree viagraviagra alternativesviagra canadaviagra on lineviagra single packsviagra for menviagra pillviagra 100mg tablets retail priceorder viagraviagra tescoside effects of viagraviagra pillen kruidvatviagra for salediscount viagrawhat does viagra doviagra costsviagra uklevitra vs viagrawhere to buy viagraviagra substitutehow long does viagra lastviagra alternativeviagra receptfrittviagra priceviagra 100viagra en ligne livraison 24hviagra on line no precviagra 100 mgutilisation viagrabest price viagracost of viagraviagra sexviagra wikipediasex viagra for womenviagra nebenwirkungenrevatio vs viagraviagra without a doctor prescription usaviagra genericoviagra 50mgviagra from canadaover the counter viagraviagra effectsviagra medicinepfizer viagra coupons from pfizerbuy generic viagraviagra wikiviagra bestellenviagra ohne rezept auf rechnungcanada viagrawomen viagrabuying viagraviagra soft