February 5, 2018 4:05 a.m.
As the Oregon State Legislature begins its 2018 session Monday, uncertainty remains regarding what may come of an investigation of State Senator Jeff Kruse, accused last fall of groping female members of the legislature.
An update for members of the legislature from Senate President Peter Courtney was supplied to News Radio 1240 KQEN by Courtney’s office. The update says the Senate Committee on Conduct will begin proceedings prompted by complaints filed against Kruse in November in the coming weeks, but does not say when it might begin:
Friday Kruse was on the Morning Conversation on News Radio 1240 KQEN and was asked about the investigation:
Some reports indicate a final report may be out sooner. That would mean the Senate Committee on Conduct would have to hold a public hearing within15-45 days. They would then have to recommend a reprimand, censure, expulsion, or no action. All parties involved would then have 10 days to review that recommendation and to provide public comment. That would be followed by a five day period for those involved to review and provide comment on each other’s comments. Then the committee would have 10 days to finalize its recommendation after considering the comments received. The Senate would vote on the committee’s recommendation the next day it convenes.
Friday Kruse was asked how this affects what he can do during this session:
State Senator Sara Gelser of Corvallis was the first to make an accusation against Kruse. She was followed later by Senator Elizabeth Steiner of Portland. Gelser, a Democrat, claimed the Roseburg Republican may have sexually harassed as many as 15 women at the Capitol. Gelser said that actions by Kruse included touching her inappropriately, including on her breast and upper thigh, on the Senate floor and during committee hearings.
Senate President Courtney stripped Kruse of all committee assignments after the charges came out and even removed the door to Kruse’s office, saying he had continued to smoke in the office, in violation of federal and state laws.
President Courtney’s memorandum says it’s too early to know when proceedings regarding Kruse might conclude.