Republicans remove Kramer from Assembly leadership post

CREATED Mar 3, 2014 - UPDATED: Mar 4, 2014

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MADISON - A few staffers occupied Waukesha Republican Bill Kramer's first floor office on Tuesday.  Kramer was not in the Capitol when colleagues voted to remove him from his post as Assembly majority leader.

Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said members in the caucus witnessed Kramer harass two women.  Who those witnesses are remains secret.  Behind closed doors at the Capitol and away from cameras, those lawmaker witnesses shared their accounts of what Kramer did during a trip to Washington last week.

"We need to, as a caucus, hold Representative Kramer accountable for the actions he allegedly did this past week," said Rep. Dan LeMahieau (R-Cascade).

In what is seen as a symbolic move, Republicans acted quickly to select retiring Rep. Pat Strachota (R-West Bend) as their new majority leader.  She is said to be the first woman to ever hold the post.

“When I woke up this morning, I didn’t know this is where I was going to be this afternoon.  But, I will step up to the challenge," Strachota told reporters.

Vos said he has not spoken with Kramer since Saturday, when Kramer abruptly canceled a scheduled meeting.

“My hope is that Representative Kramer decides not to run for reelection," Vos said.  "Whether he decides to remain for the balance of the term is a decision he has to make.”

Kramer remains in treatment at an undisclosed location.  At least one of the harassment incidents last involved what Vos called "drunkenness."

Kramer has not made any public statements since the allegations went public.