Sen. Kruse will not be in Capitol pending committee’s review of - KPTV - FOX 12

Sen. Kruse will not be in Capitol pending committee’s review of report alleging harassment

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Oregon state Sen. Jeff Kruse will not be in the Capitol building pending a review by the Senate Committee on Conduct of a report alleging sexual harassment by Kruse.

The Senate Republican Caucus released a statement Wednesday saying, “The report stands on its own. This matter is now in the hands of the Senate Committee on Conduct.”

The Republican caucus reported it had accepted Kruse’s offer to not be in the Capitol building pending the “conclusion of the process.”

That process requires giving the committee 14 days to review the report and possibly ask for additional information.

“The behavior alleged in the report, if true, is obviously not acceptable to the Senate Republican Caucus. This is why we have accepted Senator Kruse's… offer to leave,” according to a statement from the group, also noting the Oregon Republican is a 22-year veteran of the state legislature.

A request for comment from Kruse’s office by FOX 12 was denied Wednesday and the senator’s office door was lined with chairs to block the entrance.

The door was removed due to complaints Kruse smoked cigarettes in his Capitol office. 

Kruse told The News-Review in Roseburg that he has no plans to step down and is preparing a rebuttal to the report.

In her report, Dian Rubanoff said, "There is a longstanding pattern of Senator Kruse engaging in unwelcome physical contact toward females in the workplace” and that he didn’t stop after being warned about his behavior. 

The report alleges that, along with inappropriate touching, Kruse made jokes about sexual harassment training and even told a senator that "a lot of women cry wolf."

A formal complaint was filed by Sen. Sara Gelser against Kruse last November.

In a statement Wednesday, Gelser said, “The assembly has been aware for months about the most serious allegations against Senator Kruse involving law interns and a lobbyist. Now that these allegations have been substantiated, the Senate must act immediately to keep staff, lobbyists and the public safe.”

Gelser requested the removal of Kruse from the Oregon Senate. Gov. Kate Brown called for Kruse to step down, saying his behavior “is not acceptable in the Capitol or any workplace.”

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