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AG Rosenblum talks Trump, Jeff Kruse, elder abuse


Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum was in Bend on Friday, where she spoke at the Campaign for Equal Justice luncheon.

Rosenblum also stopped by the NewsChannel 21 studios to speak about a number a topics before the event.

She said her department is keeping a close eye on the federal government threatening to cut Oregon’s federal criminal justice funding. Federal officials sent a letter to several states, including Oregon, stating they are violating federal law by not sharing information for immigration enforcement.

Rosenblum said the state is not breaking any laws and is challenging the Trump administration when it comes to sanctuary cities and states.

“If we do end up needing to sue in order to maintain our federal funding, certainly the Department of Justice and many other agencies in Oregon, in addition to ours, would suffer greatly by any kind of rollback of our federal funding, she said. “So we take that very seriously, but we have a strong position that we are not in violation of federal law — and that’s the bottom line.”

Gov. Kate Brown has said Oregon will uphold the civil rights of all Oregonians against the federal government.

State law restricts local and state police from using resources to conduct immigration sweeps for people who are here illegally.

Rosenblum has been at the front and center of challenging the Trump administration, as the Department of Justice has joined several states in seven cases involving the travel ban, DACA and health care.

She said attorneys general from both sides of the aisle are working together to protect people from President Trump’s executive orders.

“It’s always first looking at the harm is to Oregonians, and frankly there are some cases that I haven’t joined because I haven’t felt the harm here in our state was at that level, but we’re evaluating,” Rosenblum said.

She said her department has also launched an elder abuse unit. Dan Norris is the prosecutor handling elder abuse cases.

Norris was the former district attorney in Malheur County but handles cases across the state.

Adult Protective Services received 34,000 complaints last year and that number continues to grow.

NewsChannel 21 also asked Rosenblum about the growing controversy in Salem over several allegations of sexual harassment against state Sen. Jeff Kruse R-Roseburg.

As we reported earlier this week, state Sen. Sara Gelser filed a formal complaint against Kruse.

The complaint states Kruse touched Gelser’s breast, kissed her cheek and put his hand on her thigh.

State Rep. and Republican candidate Knute Buehler and Oregon Democratic Party chair Jeanne Atkins are among those who have called for Kruse to resign.

Rosenblum said any form of harassment in the workplace should not be tolerated.

“I don’t know enough of the facts of that particular matter yet,” she said. “I think it is being investigated (but) from what I heard, it’s certainly something that he perhaps should consider doing. I don’t know if his resignation has been formally called for, and I certainly haven’t called for it.”

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