Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

#MeToo lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct

#MeToo lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct

Garcia, who chairs the Legislative Women's Caucus and has spoken out about her own experiences of sexual harassment in the state Capitol, has categorically denied the allegations. Fierro at the time of the incident was 25 years old.

The investigation into Garcia is one of many in statehouses nationwide following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against men in power since an October expose of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein by the New York Times.

The allegations rocked the Capitol, which for months has been grappling with a movement to stamp out a culture permissive of inappropriate sexual behavior - often acts perpetrated by powerful men against junior female staffers and lobbyists.

"She came back and was whispering real close and I could smell the booze and see she was pretty far gone, " he said.

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Yet, for Garcia and the rest of the #MeToo movement, it's a most unwelcome distraction. "It's such a blow because it gives the opposition so much fodder".

Now a communications consultant in Cerritos, Fierro said he didn't report the incident at the time, but mentioned the encounter to Calderon, his former boss late past year.

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia - a leader in the #MeToo movement - took a voluntary unpaid leave of absence Friday amid an investigation into whether she groped a former legislative staff member in 2014. "The details of these claims have never been brought to my attention until today". He's accused her of stroking his back, grabbing his buttocks and trying to grab his crotch in the dugout after a legislative softball game.

Garcia in a statement to Politico on Thursday said she has "zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior", adding that "such behavior is inconsistent with my values". "Anyone proven to have sexually harassed or assaulted another person, regardless of their gender, should be held accountable for their actions".

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A joint subcommittee tasked with revamping the Legislature's sexual harassment policies will review how complaints are reported and how to ensure they remain confidential. She issued a statement saying she could not recall the previous incident but welcomed an investigation into the accusations.

Garcia, a graduate from the Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles, helped form the Bell Association to Stop Abuse (BATSA) in the wake of the Bell scandal that involved misappropriation of public funds in the city in California, before being elected to Assembly in 2012. Complaints against Raul Bocangera and Matt Dababneh, two Democratic lawmakers who resigned previous year, went public when women shared the accusations against them. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, remains on paid leave pending an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.

Two Democratic assemblymen, Raul Bocanegra and Matt Dababneh, resigned last fall as women came forward publicly to accuse them of groping and making unwanted sexual advances. Sen. She has filed papers to run for re-election in the June 5 primary but also has been talked about as a potential state Senate candidate.

Her outspokenness is what prompted Fierro to share his story. He said he was attempting to leave the fundraiser partially to avoid Garcia, who he said had been "increasingly flirtatious" and had asked him several times to get drinks.

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"What is 'consent?' How do we bridge the gap between varying definitions?" she wrote.

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