Kruse has accepted the condition of the review that includes the fact that he is not to be onsite during the 2-week investigation. The committee has a total of two weeks to act on the complaint as it is written.
The current investigation into the activities of Kruse is tied to a complaint that was filed last November. Sen. Sara Gelser reported that Kruse had been harassing her for a full six years.
According to the complaint made by Gelser, Kruse had developed a pattern of unwanted sexual touching and conversation on the job. This including groping Gelser at her desk and trying to force himself on her.
During the 2017 session, Kruse was asked by another member of the Senate to stop hugging and touching Gelser.
At that time he made light of the unwanted fondling and shared with anyone listening that his female coworker did not mind the attention.
Sadly it does not appear that Gelser is the only woman Kruse has made inappropriate advances towards. Several reports about the Kruse mention the fact that he was warned several times about touching women in the Capital building.
When Gelser made the complaint in November, many in Salem stepped forward to demand that Kruse leave office immediately. This demand continued as the charge reached the select committee.
The ban in the Capital building all together comes as many within the state see Kruse as an on-going threat to females working or visiting in Salem. A recent report shared that he may have at least 15 victims just in Salem.
While even one complaint of this nature is unsettling, the fact that Kruse has a long history of this type of behavior is even worse. It seems illogical for something like this to be allowed to go on for so long.
As the Kruse case got to the point of him needing to remain off capital grounds, it seems this is a case of the state doing too little too late. The fact is that Kruse was very open about his exploits. He made no effort in most of the described examples of harassment to hide his actions.
How is it possible for a lawmaker to grope a co-worker on the Senate floor without being punished? In this Kruse acted as if he was above both the law and basic work ethics.
Oregon has stepped forward as a state that offers safety to illegal immigrants and supports a more liberal view of things like gay rights and women’s right. This safety and security do not seem to extend to lawmakers in the state.
Based on the Kruse behavior, it seems for some there are no real hard boundaries as far as what is acceptable on the job. When on-going complaints about Kruse finally get bad enough that he is banned from Salem, things have gone way too far.
One has to wonder how long anyone expected Kruse’s victims to continue to just endure the touching and dirty talk. This was not a simple slip of personal boundaries but instead a patter of abuse.
Oddly enough, this is not the only way Kruse seemed to barrel through both common sense and basic laws on the job. He is known for some brazen and even odd behavior on the job.
An example of this occurred when the Capital building managers started to get complaints about Kruse smoking cigars in his office. In a state where smoking is banned in any indoor businesses, smoking in the Capital just does not make sense.
At one point the door to his office was removed to stop the smoking in his office. The doors were still missing when security at the Capital made attempts to block access to his post as the ban went into effect.
While Kruse will not be able to hound female coworkers for inappropriate hugs anytime soon, it is still unsettling to know how long the abuse went on for.