SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon Sen. Jeff Kruse has offered to remove himself from the Capitol following a report released Tuesday describing a years-long pattern of sexual harassment.
Kruse, a Republican from Roseburg, told his hometown newspaper The News-Review on Wednesday that he will not step down, despite calls for his resignation from Oregon Governor Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek. He told KGW he would wait for the political process to play out.
Kruse offered to stay away from the Capitol building while the report is reviewed by the Senate Committee on Conduct. The review period is 14 days and could last longer. The Senate Republican Caucus accepted his offer.
"Senator Kruse's behavior is not acceptable in the Capitol or any workplace, and he should step down," Brown said on Tuesday. "The legislature must immediately take steps to ensure that every person who walks into Oregon's Capitol is safe and respected, allowing the focus in the capitol to be where it should: on serving the people of Oregon."
Sen. Tim Knopp became the first Oregon Republican state senator to call on Kruse to resign or retire.
"I believe based on the evidence presented in the report the Conduct Committee would have no choice but to recommend expulsion," Knopp said in a statement on Wednesday.
The independent investigation found that Kruse had a longstanding pattern of unwanted physical contact with female colleagues.
Kotek also issued a statement Tuesday evening calling for Kruse to step down. "The third-party investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Senator Jeff Kruse was thorough and fair. It showed a pervasive and persistent pattern of inappropriate and unacceptable behavior that is not permissible for anyone, let alone an elected official," she said.
"The people of Oregon and the women who work in the Capitol deserve better. He should resign, and if he chooses not to, the Senate should expel him," Kotek said. "Thank you to the brave women who came forward with their reports of harassment. I promise to do everything in my power to make sure their courage brings about real change."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.