State se­na­tor un­der mis­con­duct probe quits

The News Tribune - - Nation & World - As­so­ci­ated Press

The ma­jor­ity leader of the state Se­nate says Demo­cratic state Sen. Kevin Ranker, who was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of im­proper con­duct – the first test of the cham­ber’s new work­place poli­cies adopted in the wake of the #MeToo move­ment – has re­signed.

Ma­jor­ity Leader Andy Bil­lig said in a state­ment Satur­day that Ranker has stepped down ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

The Se­nate has been con­duct­ing an out­side in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Ranker fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of im­proper con­duct. Through a pub­lic records re­quest, The As­so­ci­ated Press ob­tained a con­tract be­tween the Se­nate and Tara Parker, an in­ves­ti­ga­tor with Og­den Mur­phy Wal­lace law firm in Seat­tle, who was hired by the cham­ber in Oc­to­ber.

Ranker has said he told the sec­re­tary of the Se­nate he would co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He told the AP he would not com­ment fur­ther while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­way, but be­lieves he will be ex­on­er­ated.

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