Former State Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg) broke his long silence on the sexual harassment allegations that led to his forced resignation from the Legislature last month.
In a constituent newsletter he posted Friday on Facebook , and which was first reported by the Salem Statesman Journal, Kruse claimed he was a victim.
"Interestingly I was not actually accused of things of a sexual nature, just inappropriate things like hugs, which have gone on in the Legislature for the whole twenty plus years I have served," Kruse wrote on Facebook. "The whole thing was scripted and designed to a specific end, in my opinion for the potential political gain of a few."
After Sens. Sara Gelser (D-Covallis) and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D-Portland) filed sexual harassment complaints against Kruse late last year, the Legislature hired an independent investigator to examine the allegations.
"The evidence in this investigation established that Senator Kruse has engaged in a pattern of conduct that was offensive to Senator Gelser and Senator Steiner Hayward, as well as other legislators and employees at the Capitol," wrote Dian Rubanoff, the independent investigator hired to examine Kruse's behavior, in a 51-page report.
Kruse resigned Feb. 8.
Steiner Hayward and others applauded that move at the time.
"Senator Kruse's resignation is long overdue," Steiner Hayward said in a statement upon Kruse's stepping down. "His resignation will allow the many victims identified through the investigation to begin their healing; the Senate to move forward with the people's business; and his constituents to once again have representation in the Legislature."
Kruse remained mum until after the short legislative session concluded March 3.
Now, he's providing the public with his final words.
"When it became apparent that those in power were not interested in the truth I had a hard decision to make," Kruse wrote. "I really wanted to have a chance for my side of this to be heard, but I wasn't sure that would happen based on the bias the media had already demonstrated."