Observers have noted the disparity in treatment
In a letter to Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland)
State Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) has asked that Representative Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) be suspended from all committees he sits on with her. She has identified herself as the victim in this case.
"During the Conduct Committee’s hearing on Friday, the independent investigator recommended Representative Witt be removed as Chair from the House Ag and Natural Resource Committee and that a no contact order be issued. I felt betrayed when arguments were made to oppose the recommendation to remove Representative Witt as Chair. In thinking of the interactions that would be required of us, I knew the restrictions would not be enough to ensure my safety from his inappropriate advances. I am thankful for the action that was announced today to correct that decision and appoint a new Chair for the time being."
During the preliminary hearing on the case in the House Committee on Conduct, State Representative Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland) said that she saw the removal of Representative Witt from his Chair seemed punitive, "Were we not in pandemic mode and not online, I might think differently of it, but we are. We are online for all these meetings. I can appreciate that removing someone from their Chairship does feel a little bit punitive." Representative Witt was the Chair of the House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources, but he has lately been removed by the Speaker. He still sits on the committee.
Representative Breese-Iverson sees it differently. In her letter, she says,
"It will be impossible to enforce a no contact order while we serve on the same committees. Representative Tawna Sanchez argued during the hearing that because committees are virtual, it should not be a problem for a victim to interact with their harasser. I strongly disagree. A hostile work environment is made worse in a virtual world. To fully comply with the “no contact” order of the Conduct Committee, you must immediately temporarily remove him from all committees that we serve on together."
The work done by the House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources is critical to the advancement of the Democrat agenda, and Representative Witt's situation presents a challenge for the advancement of legislation, especially in light of the House closure
Observers have noted the disparity in treatment between the Witt case and the cases of Representatives Hernandez and Nearman who are seen as adversaries to the Speaker.
|Post Date: 2021-04-22 10:25:39||Last Update: 2021-04-20 13:55:50|