Wingard told Willamette Week, which first reported the allegations, that the two had a consensual relationship that did not involve the workplace. He denied drugging her or providing alcohol to minors. He remains a co-chair of the House Education Committee.
Meanwhile, another witness has come forward to corroborate Berrier's story that Wingard provided her with beer despite knowing she was underage, and that he also hosted a party at which at least one high school student drank alcohol.
Tyler Hill, a one-time House candidate who interned for Rep. Kevin Cameron, R-Salem, in 2009, said in an interview with The Oregonian that he saw Wingard procure a beer for Berrier at the Dorchester Conference -- an annual Republican gathering -- in March 2010. Hill also said he was at a party at Wingard's rental that weekend where he saw minors drinking beer.
"I know for sure he bought her a beer at the Shilo (Inn)," Hill said. If he didn't buy it personally, he had an aide buy it, Hill said. "I was sitting at the table when they went up to get it." Later in the evening, he said, Berrier was clearly drunk and exchanging text messages with Wingard.
Oh, and by the way, there's also another young woman who was ready to step forward, but was scared off by the treatment that Berrier was receiving--specifically Wingard's litigious posture:
Berrier, who was a 20-year-old legislative aide in 2010 when she started working for Wingard was accompanied by her lawyer, Ross Day. Day said he knows of a second woman who had a similar experience with Wingard, R-Wilsonville, when she was a 19-year-old intern.
"There is one other woman who has come forward, who wanted to speak and decided not to and has a story similar to Samantha's," Day said. He said she backed off after hearing about Wingard's threat to sue Berrier. Day did not reveal her name or any details.
Amazing how just two weeks ago, Wingard was a "rising star" in the GOP firmament.