UPDATE: Rep. Bill Kramer out as Assembly Majority Leader - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Rep. Bill Kramer out as Assembly Majority Leader

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) is no longer the Assembly Majority Leader after his GOP colleagues removed him from that post today, less than a week after two women accused him of sexual harassment during a fundraising trip to Washington, D.C.

Even before the ballots were cast, Assembly Republicans made it clear how disappointed they were in Kramer.

"Representative Kramer has lost the trust and confidence of Assembly Republican caucus members to fulfill his duties as our Republican Assembly Majority Leader," said Rep. Mary Williams (R-Medford).

Two women accused Kramer of harassing them last week.  One says Kramer harassed her at a lobbyist's fundraising event in D.C., while other says Kramer harassed her on the plane ride back to Milwaukee.

"It was communicated to me that one of the incidents he was impaired, but other times he was not, so, it was not simply being in a state of drunkenness," said Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

No one in the caucus seems to have any doubt about Kramer's guilt.

"These are allegations, but I believe we have credible witnesses," said Rep. Dan LeMahieu (R-Cascade).

"I have had numerous people say that they saw it," said Speaker Vos.  "Both legislators, others who were at the event, lobbyists - it was not an action that occurred in private."

And as Kramer sits in a treatment center for undisclosed reasons, his colleagues voted him out as majority leader.

"We are not removing him from the legislature, we are just taking him out the position of trust that is really earned inside our caucus," said Speaker Vos. 

Rep. Pat Strachota (R-West Bend) will take over as majority leader for the rest of the session, but is not running for reelection this year.  That means Republicans will have to pick a new leader in 2015.

With only two more floor days planned for this session, its unclear if Rep. Kramer will ever step foot in the Assembly chambers again.

"My hope is that Representative Kramer decides not to run for reelection.  I think whether or not he stays for the balance of the term, that's his decision to make," said Speaker Vos.

Vos says one of the victims, who is a legislative staffer, has expressed concerns about Kramer coming back to the legislature as have other women.

Vos says precautions will be taken to guarantee their safety if Kramer does return.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Assembly Republicans have voted unanimously to remove Representative Bill Kramer as Majority Leader.

Kramer has been accused of sexual harassment by two women while on a recent trip to Washington, D.C. His office said Saturday he is now in rehab.

Monday, Republican Representative Joan Ballweg said Kramer allegedly touched a woman inappropriately following a fundraiser, and verbally abused a woman the next day on his flight back home.

The vote Tuesday morning was by secret ballot. The GOP Caucus went back into a private meeting to discuss whether to fill the post. It's possible the leadership position could be left open until next year.

Monday, Governor Scott Walker commented that if the allegations against Kramer were true, he should resign from his seat in the Assembly.


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