People of Northwest Public Radio
Oregon State Representative
Tue June 19, 2012
Embattled Oregon State Rep Says He Won't Seek Re-Election
An embattled Oregon state Representative Matt Wingard says he won't seek re-election. Two-term Republican lawmaker Matt Wingard admitted to having a sexual relationship with a college-age employee who worked at his state capitol office.
Wingard denied making unwanted advances, but did admit to a sexual relationship with the woman. After nearly a week of public pressure, Wingard issued a statement saying he will not seek a third term. He cited concern for his family. Meanwhile, some House Democrats say they'll work to strengthen the chamber's rules about workplace harassment. Carolyn Tomei once served as a chair of a House Special Committee in charge of investigating such complaints. She says current rules don't prohibit the kind of relationship Wingard admitted to.
Carolyn Tomei: "It would seem to me that having a sexual relationship, a romantic relationship with an employee who is not your spouse, that that is an exploitation. That's truly improper."
A separate law enforcement investigation resulted in no criminal charges against Wingard. His decision to remove himself from the ballot allows Republican leaders to select a replacement candidate for the November election.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network