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Lawmaker accused of misconduct relinquishes committee chair

Lawmaker accused of misconduct relinquishes committee chair

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state representative has volunteered to step down as a committee chair after being accused of misconduct by another lawmaker.

Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, was accused of sexually harassing a colleague on Monday. Witt temporarily removed himself as leader of the House Natural Resources panel. He said he believes he will be exonerated but would not function as committee chair until an investigation was finished.

The bipartisan House Committee on Conduct on Friday had declined an investigator’s recommendation that the panel require Witt to step down.

In a statement, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan slammed the conduct panel’s decision not to order Witt to give up his committee leadership position.

“Allowing the accused to choose the actions they will voluntarily take to protect their victim is not how this process should work,” Drazan said.

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