OLYMPIA, Wash. — State Sen. Kevin Ranker has stepped down from leadership roles on two committees as he fights allegations of improper conduct.
The state Senate hired an outside firm in October to investigate allegations that Ranker sexually harassed an employee.
Ranker, D-Orcas Island, will remain a member of the Environment, Energy & Technology Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee, but will not retain his title on the budget writing committee
Ann Larson, who served as Ranker's legislative assistant for a year nearly a decade ago, said the investigation is related to sexual harassment and hostile workplace issues. She says she also was subjected to hostile encounters involving Ranker once she left to work as a legislative liaison for the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"This move will allow the Senate to fully focus on the important environmental policies we will be considering this session while we wait for the conclusion of the investigation into the allegations of workplace misconduct against Sen. Ranker,” Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig said.
Ranker has said he is fully cooperating with the investigation and believes he will be exonerated.
“Once completed, we will weigh the full facts of this case and act accordingly,” Billig said.