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The House Conduct Committee said Brad Witt's intent was not relevant to whether he created a hostile work environment.

PMG FILE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - State Rep. Brad Witt violated workplace policies at the Oregon Capitol with text messages that a fellow lawmaker, Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson, interpreted as propositioning her in exchange for his support on a bill.

State Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, violated workplace rules against sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment with a series of texts to a fellow lawmaker in April, a House committee found Tuesday evening, June 1.

But the House Conduct Committee found that, contrary to an allegation against him, Witt did not intend to create a quid pro quo arrangement with Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson in which he would exchange his vote on a bill for a date or sexual favors.

Instead, the committee's conclusions centered around the ambiguity of Witt's text messages, the fact they could reasonably be perceived as sexual, and testimony from Breese Iverson and others that she was severely shaken by the exchange.

"(Witt's) text messages were clearly inappropriate and intended to make me feel I needed to accept spending time with the respondent to further any conversation about my bill," Breese Iverson told the committee. "These events continue to upset me each time I go back through it."

Read the full story on the website of Oregon Public Broadcasting, a Pamplin Media Group news partner.

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