Oregon lawmaker accused of harassment resigns

Jeff Kruse
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2012, file photo, Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, speaks at the Capitol in Salem, Ore. Kruse not only subjected two female senators to unwanted touching, he groped or gave lingering hugs to many other women working at the Oregon Capitol, according to a report released Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, by an independent investigator. (Timothy J. Gonzalez/Statesman-Journal via AP, File)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – An Oregon state senator says he is resigning after an investigation determined he had harassed multiple women in the Capitol building with prolonged hugging, groping and other unwelcome physical contact.

Sen. Jeff Kruse said in a statement Thursday that he denies the allegations, but he is stepping down so his colleagues may focus on serving Oregonians without distraction.

An investigative report released Tuesday documented allegations that he harassed female colleagues while talking to them in public areas of the Senate.

Kruse, a Republican from Roseburg, Oregon, had been stripped of his committee assignments by the Senate president late last year because of the complaints.

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