Assembly Republican leadership called for the resignation of Rep. Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, Thursday, after he was charged with two felony counts of sexual assault.
The Assembly GOP caucus had already voted unanimously last month to remove Kramer as Assembly Majority leader and replaced him with Rep. Pat Strachota, R-West Bend. That removal came after two allegations of sexual harassment while he was on a fundraising trip in Washington D.C., but Thursday’s calls for a resignation stem from a separate incident in 2011 involving criminal charges against Kramer.
“We believe the criminal charges against Rep. Kramer are credible and his alleged actions are reprehensible,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Strachota said in statement. “These are serious accusations and with respect to the alleged victim, we believe the criminal process should proceed without interference.”
Kramer was also removed from his spot on the legislative Committees on Financial Institutions and Law Revision, according to the statement.
Vos added if Kramer ignores the call for his resignation, the Assembly will pursue a recall process to remove him from office, although Assembly GOP leaders chose not to seek to expel him from the Legislature. If Kramer is convicted of the felony charges against him, he will be automatically removed from office, in accordance with the Wisconsin Constitution.
The Assembly GOP leaders sent an official request of resignation to Kramer, which said he had “compromised the integrity of the institution” with his actions and had lost the trust of the caucus.
“The new allegations are reprehensible and your response to them is troubling,” the letter said. “As elected officials, we must hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard. We urge you to step down out of respect to the institution, your constituents and the State of Wisconsin.”