Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, continues to insist he will not resign his seat, despite a new, detailed report from an outside investigator saying he groped multiple women, including three senators, a House member and two law students who worked for him, along with other Capitol staffers. Kruse should do the right thing and resign.
Last year, Sens. Sara Gelser and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward went public with allegations that Kruse repeatedly subjected them to inappropriate and unwanted physical contact on the Senate floor and in committee hearings. Gelser said she complained informally to Senate leaders, who admonished Kruse and told him to stop. Gelser went public when the conduct continued.
Senate President Peter Courtney stripped Kruse of all of his committee assignments, leaving him unable to participate in shaping legislation.
Investigator Dian Rubanoff, an employment law attorney, filed a 51-page report that was released late Tuesday. Rubanoff not only documented accounts of unwanted touching from multiple women, she wrote that the behavior actually "escalated" after he was warned to stop.
As long as Kruse refuses to resign, the matter will go before the Conduct Committee, but not until Feb. 22, two more weeks into a five-week legislative session. In the meantime, his Roseburg constituents are left with a lawmaker who can't make laws.
Gov. Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek on Tuesday called for Kruse to resign. He responded that the two Democrats were "playing politics." But without committee assignments, all Kruse can do is play at being a legislator. It's time for him to go.