Republican Senator Jeff Kruse has announced that he is resigning after it was leaked on Thursday afternoon that he was sexually harassing female colleagues and other staffers.
A 51-page report was released against Kruse, as reported in the Statesman Journal, describing in detail the many accusations made against him, which he still continues to deny.
Some of those allegations include “cupping” a lobbyists buttocks, calling a law student “sexy,” and a “little girl,” and commenting on her legs, as well as other examples of unwanted hugging, massaging, touching, kissing and placing his hands on women’s waists or near breasts.”
Kruse sent a letter to the Secretary of State’s office, saying he wouldn’t resign until March.
“Please accept this notice of my resignation from the office of State Senator – District 1, effective March 15, 2018. I understand that after February 13, 2018, this notification becomes irrevocable.”
Senator Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, was one of the women to publicly voice her grievances against Kruse. She wants to know why his resignation isn’t immediate.
“How are we keeping women safe for the next five weeks?” Gelser said.
It turns out Kruse also harassed another female senator. The question is who hasn’t he harassed? Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward also filed a formal complaint and said she’s just thankful he’s leaving soon.
“I am hopeful that the thoroughness of the independent investigation will empower other women to speak up when they are subjected to harassment,” she said.
According to the report they filed, it turns out Republicans in the legislature knew about his behavior as early as March 2016, and Kruse was warned about it, but he didn’t stop.
The behavior he displayed such as “wrapping his arm around female legislators and employees” made them feel “trapped” and extremely uncomfortable. The report also alleges that he “put his hands on women in the workplace below their waists.” When he was warned about this he said that “he did not want to stop hugging and touching all of them.”
Based on this, Kruse should have been let go two years ago, but he was allowed to stay a senator.