State representative cuts plea deal, remains in office
Kramer agrees to plead no contest to 2 misdemeanor sexual assault charges
MADISON, Wis. — A state lawmaker has cut a plea deal on sexual assault charges, but is still in office.
Rep. Bill Kramer, R-Waukesha, agreed to plead no contest to two misdemeanor sexual assault charges in Waukesha County Court Thursday morning.
The plea may lead to jail time for the former state Assembly Majority Leader. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports a prosecutor will seek nine months in jail and three years of probation, while Kramer’s attorney will seek no jail time.
Kramer was charged with two felony counts after being accused of groping a woman following a Republican Party event in 2011. Those charges followed allegations of him sexually harassing a Capitol staffer and lobbyist at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., last February.
The former Republican leader was stripped of his leadership position by his caucus in March, but continues to represent the 97th Assembly District. A legislative aide told News 3 Thursday that Kramer had not been to the Capitol since the allegations surfaced in February, and had not been in contact with his office staff “in some time.” Staff referred questions to Kramer’s attorney, who did not return phone calls on Thursday.
Gov. Scott Walker and Republican leaders in the Assembly are calling for Kramer to resign.
“I was one of the first people to say he should step down from the leadership position and subsequently said he should step down from the legislature,” Walker told reporters at a Janesville event Thursday afternoon. “I just think there’s no place in a position of public trust for someone who’s done, in this case I used to say someone who has allegedly done this, and now he’s acknowledged he’s done this. I just don’t think there’s a place in public service for someone like that.”
The Journal Sentinel also reported Thursday that Kramer’s attorney said he was struggling with alcohol and has been sober now for more than 200 days.
News 3 requested records Thursday about whether Kramer has been drawing his paycheck and whether the investigation of a human resources complaint filed in the harassment case has been completed. We have not yet gotten a response to that request.
Kramer will be sentenced in Waukesha County Court on Nov. 25.