Ranker resigns from state Senate

Kevin Ranker, the state Senator from Orcas Island, submitted his resignation Saturday, January 12, 2019. He was under investigation  after a former employee, Ann Larson, complained of sexual harrassement and a hostile workplace. 

The results of the investigation were due to be released this week.

Larson was the clerk for the San Juan County Council when Ranker was a council member. The two had an affair which ended when he was elected to the state Senate.

Ranker left the council after he became state Senator. Larson left San Juan Island and took a job in Ranker's Anacortes office before ending up working at his Olympia office. 

She spoke to Senate staffers in 2010 about the problems she encountered working at Ranker's office. They helped her find another job in the government. She ended up working for the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In 2018, she filed a complaint which triggered an investigation under procedures adopted by the senate in July 2018. In addition to sexual harassment allegations, she said Ranker had threatened to pull funding from the department she worked for. 

According to an article posted on  KING5 , https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/sen-ranker-from-orcas-island-resigns-amid-investigation/281-36b00775-348c-4b4a-ba6d-4189bc69079c Ranker had resigned from being chair of two committees earlier in the week and then on Saturday submitted his resignation to the Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig. 

Ranker's replacement will be chosen by the three county councils/commissions  from Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties. If they can't reach an agreement, Governor Jay Inslee will select a new senator. 

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