UPDATE: Kramer pleads not guilty to 2 assault charges

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UPDATED Thursday, May 15, 2014 --- 9:52 a.m.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- State Rep. Bill Kramer has pleaded not guilty to charges that he groped a woman's breasts following a Republican fundraiser.

Kramer is the Assembly's former majority leader. He's charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

He waived his preliminary hearing Thursday, and defense attorney Eduardo Borda entered the pleas on his behalf.

Kramer has represented Waukesha, an ultra-conservative city in southeastern Wisconsin, since 2006.

Majority Republicans took away his leadership position after allegations surfaced that he may have sexually harassed a lobbyist and a Wisconsin legislative staffer in February.

After those allegations were revealed, another woman said Kramer attacked her as well during an event in Muskego three years ago. Those allegations led to the criminal charges.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Monday, April 14, 2014 --- 9:09 a.m.

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- The lawyer for former state Majority Leader Bill Kramer says his client will plead not guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Defense attorney Eduardo Borda told reporters Monday the defense plans to scrutinize the claims and conduct of the witnesses in the case.

Kramer is accused of groping a woman following a GOP fundraiser three years ago. She told investigators he tried to kiss her, groped her breasts and told her he wanted to have sex with her.

Kramer acknowledged to investigators that he kissed her good night but denies groping her.

The Waukesha Republican didn't speak during a brief initial court appearance Monday. He was released on a $5,000 signature bond, and remained silent as a gaggle of reporters trailed him in the hallway asking questions.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Monday, April 7, 2014 --- 7:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Assembly Democrats are demanding former Majority Leader Bill Kramer resign in the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations.

Majority Republicans stripped Kramer of his leadership position last month. They have asked Kramer to resign but say they won't push to expel him from office. The Assembly has adjourned for the year and Kramer has said he won't seek re-election in November.

Four Democrats sent Kramer a letter Monday demanding he resign. They also sent a letter to Republican leaders accusing them of not going far enough to discipline Kramer and suggesting they form an ethics committee to develop sanctions.

Kramer's attorney, James Gatzke, says both Democrats and Republicans are ignoring Kramer's due process rights to score political points. A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos didn't immediately return messages.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Thursday, April 3, 2014 --- 5:08 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican Assembly leaders have sent embattled Rep. Bill Kramer a letter demanding his resignation, but are not saying they will push to expel him from the Legislature.

Speaker Robin Vos's office issued a statement late Thursday following a meeting with GOP leaders to discuss Kramer after he was charged last week with two felony counts of sexual assault.

Kramer has already been removed as majority leader following separate accusations of sexual harassment. The statement released Thursday calling for Kramer to resign says he has also been stripped of his committee assignments. The Assembly adjourned for the year last month.

The statement says if Kramer refuses to resign, his constituents could recall him from office.

Kramer has said he won't run for re-election in November.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Monday, March 31, 2014 --- 4:07 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican leaders in the state Assembly plan to discuss this week whether to remove embattled former Majority Leader Bill Kramer from office.

Waukesha County prosecutors charged Kramer on Friday with sexually assaulting a political aide in 2011. The charges come on the heels of separate allegations he sexually harassed a lobbyist and a legislative staffer in Washington D.C. in February.

Assembly Republicans stripped Kramer of his leadership post after the Washington allegations surfaced and Kramer said he won't run for re-election in November. On Saturday Republican leaders called on him to resign outright.

A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he plans to meet with other Republicans on Thursday to talk about Kramer.

It would take a two-thirds vote of the Assembly to expel Kramer from office.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Saturday, March 29, 2014 --- 1:46 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The president of the state Senate says state Rep. Bill Kramer should be forced out of the Assembly if the Waukesha Republican is found guilty of pending sexual assault charges.

Republican Senate President Mike Ellis said Saturday that Kramer's conduct is a black eye to Republicans in both chambers. He says Kramer should resign, and if convicted should be kicked out of the Assembly.

Kramer was charged Friday with sexually assaulting a political aide three years.

Republicans stripped him of his position as majority leader earlier this month following separate allegations of sexual harassment at a February fundraiser. Kramer isn't seeking re-election in November.

Kramer's attorney, Jim Gatzke, says the legal process should be allowed to run its course. He says there's no need to rush to judgment.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Friday, March 28, 2014 --- 3:47 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors have charged former Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer with sexually assaulting a political aide three years ago.

According to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Waukesha County, a woman told a detective on March 5 that Kramer tried to kiss her and groped her after a political event in Muskego in April 2011. She said Kramer was drunk and she was afraid he was going to rape her. Kramer told a detective he may have kissed the woman but denied groping her.

He faces two counts of second-degree sexual assault and could face up to 80 years in prison if convicted.

Assembly Republicans removed Kramer as majority leader earlier this month amid allegations he sexually harassed two women in Washington, D.C. He's not seeking re-election to the Assembly

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 26, 2014 --- 4:01 p.m.

From our news partner WITI in Milwaukee:

WAUKESHA CO. (WITI) — Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel has confirmed with FOX6 News the Muskego Police Department has contacted his office asking for sexual assault charges against former Republican Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer.

Earlier this week, Kramer announced he will not seek re-election as a Wisconsin Representative.

Kramer was voted out of his position as Assembly Majority Leader earlier this month – after he was accused of sexually harassing two women while in Washington, D.C., for a fundraiser. One of the women is a lobbyist and the other is a legislative staff member.

Kramer was first elected in 2006. He was chosen as majority leader, the second most powerful position in the Assembly, in October.

Schimel said Wednesday that charges referred earlier in the day by the police department were being reviewed. He says he isn’t sure if will actually file charges based on the police report.

Schimel, a Republican, declined to comment on the details of the allegations.

Kramer’s chief of staff declined to comment.

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UPDATED Monday, March 24, 2014 --- 2:42 p.m.

MADISON (AP) – Ousted Republican Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer will not seek re-election.

Kramer filed paperwork with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on Monday that he would not be a candidate in the fall. The document was signed March 14.

Kramer was voted out of his position as majority leader earlier this month after he was accused of sexually harassing two women while in Washington, D.C., for a fundraiser. One of the women is a lobbyist and the other is a legislative staff member.

Kramer was first elected in 2006. He was chosen as majority leader, the second most powerful position in the Assembly, in October.

A message left with Kramer’s chief of staff seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 4, 2014 --- 2:20 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says that ousted Majority Leader Bill Kramer should not seek re-election, but whether he resigns is up to him.

Vos spoke after Assembly Republicans voted Tuesday to remove Kramer as majority leader amid allegations that he sexually harassed at least two women last week. Rep. Pat Strachota was elected to replace Kramer, becoming the first woman to ever have the job.

Kramer's office says he checked into a treatment facility on Saturday. He was not at the vote and his chief of staff did not respond to comment Tuesday.

Kramer previously registered to run again. Libertarian Chuck Schilling has also registered.

Vos says with the change in leadership the Republican caucus has "turned a corner in a very difficult chapter."

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says actions will be taken to protect anyone who feels uncomfortable around Rep. Bill Kramer if he decides to return to the Capitol.

Vos commented Tuesday after Assembly Republicans voted to oust Kramer as majority leader amid allegations that he sexually harassed at least two women last week, one of them a GOP staff member.

Vos says he has heard from people who say they would be concerned about their safety if Kramer returns. His office says Kramer checked into a treatment facility on Saturday and he has not been available for comment.

Kramer's chief of staff did not immediately return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Vos says he hopes Kramer does not seek re-election.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 4. 2014 --- 11:58 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans in the Wisconsin state Assembly have removed the majority leader from his post amid allegations that he groped one woman and verbally abused another during a trip to Washington last week.

The GOP lawmakers unanimously voted to strip state Rep. Bill Kramer of his leadership post during a meeting Tuesday. Kramer checked into a treatment facility for an unspecified reason on Saturday and wasn't present at the meeting. He hasn't commented on the allegations.

Majority leader is the second most powerful position in the Assembly after the speaker.

Kramer, of Waukesha, was elected to the Assembly in 2006 and was chosen as majority leader in September. The Republicans hold a 60-39 majority in the Assembly.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 4, 2014 --- 9:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Assembly Republicans plan to vote on removing Rep. Bill Kramer as majority leader amid allegations that he groped a woman after a Washington fundraiser last week and verbally abused another on the flight home.

Kramer has checked himself into an unspecified treatment facility and is not expected to be at the meeting. He has not commented on the allegations.

Republican leaders called the meeting to remove Kramer as majority leader, the second most powerful position in the Assembly. It wasn't known whether another lawmaker would be elected to take his spot or if it would be left vacant.

Kramer, of Waukesha, was elected to the Assembly in 2006 and was chosen as majority leader in September to replace Scott Suder.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, March 3, 2014 --- 4:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he "definitely" thinks Republicans are correct in removing Rep. Bill Kramer as majority leader of the state Assembly amid sexual harassment allegations.

Walker was asked Monday about Kramer in Green Bay.

Assembly Republicans planned to vote Tuesday on removing Kramer as majority leader, the second highest post in the Assembly.

Kramer has not commented on the allegations that he groped a woman and verbally abused another one while in Washington for a fundraiser. Kramer's chief of staff says he will not be at the vote because he is in treatment.

Walker says he doesn't know anything more about the allegations than what he's read in press reports, but if true Kramer should resign his seat.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The chief clerk of the state Assembly says a human resources complaint has been lodged with his office but he won't say who it was filed against.

Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer faces allegations that he groped a woman after a Washington fundraiser last week and then verbally assaulted another woman on the plane ride home.

Assembly Chief Clerk Patrick Fuller would not say whether the complaint he received Monday was against Kramer or who filed it. Fuller says he will investigate the complaint.

Republicans with direct knowledge of the situation say one of the women involved was a lobbyist and the other was a legislative staffer.

The Republicans spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by their attorneys to comment publicly about the alleged victims.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, March 3, 2014 --- 12:42 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican state Rep. Dean Knudson, of Hudson, says he is not interested in taking over as majority leader of the state Assembly.

Assembly Republicans are scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on removing Bill Kramer as majority leader. He faces allegations that he sexually harassed at least two women last week.

Knudson ran against Kramer for the position in September and lost. He issued a statement Monday saying he has no interest in the position.

Rep. Joan Ballweg says Republicans plan to discuss privately on Tuesday whether to fill the position or leave it vacant. Ballweg says she learned of the allegations during a conference call with other Republican leaders and they made her "very uncomfortable."

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, March 3, 2014 --- 9:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans who have majority control of the Wisconsin state Assembly plan to meet Tuesday morning to vote on removing Rep. Bill Kramer as majority leader, the second most powerful position.

Kramer's office announced Saturday that he was entering unspecified treatment. Republicans with direct knowledge of the situation say at least two women have accused Kramer of sexually harassing them last week.

Assembly Republicans scheduled a caucus meeting for Tuesday morning to vote first on removing Kramer from his post. After that, they will decide whether to keep it vacant or fill it.

The session this year is nearly over. The Assembly is expected to be in session only a couple more days and there will be a new round of leadership elections in January.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Saturday, March 1, 2014 --- 6:39 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Assembly Republicans say they plan to take a vote to strip embattled Majority Leader Bill Kramer from his leadership position.

Kramer's office said Saturday that he has checked into a treatment center as he faces pressure to resign amid charges that he sexually harassed multiple women at a Republican fundraiser.

According to the statement from Assembly Republican leadership Saturday, they hope that Kramer comes to terms with his problems but they've lost trust and confidence in him. The statement said the serious nature of the allegations require them to take the vote Tuesday. They will then determine how best to fill the position.

Kramer, who was elected by Republican Assembly members as majority leader in September, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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