California assemblywoman leading #MeToo investigated for sexual misconduct


Democratic Assemblywoman and prominent face of the campaign to end sexual harassment in the state Capitol said Friday that she will take a voluntary unpaid leave of absence after she was accused of sexual misconduct.

Daniel Fiero, who worked for another MP, told how the activist was actively pursuing him in 2014. Fierro declined to comment on Garcia's decision.

Jerry Brown this week protecting legislative staff members who report sexual misconduct or other legal or ethical violations. The Sacramento, Calif. lobbyist alleged Garcia, who seemed intoxicated at the time, accosted him while at a fundraiser for state Senator Josh Newman in 2017, grabbed his genitalia and swore she was going to "fuck" him. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, a Democrat, said in a statement he is directing human resources to reach out to Garcia's staff to make sure they feel safe.

For more than three years, Fierro kept quiet about the incident, saying it was "an embarrassing situation that I didn't want to think about".

Last October she spoke out against former California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, who resigned in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. She is said to have been pivotal in making sure the legislative women's caucus is involved in policy and budget decisions, as well as being a mentor for would-be female politicians, encouraging them to take part in public office.

Spurned by Garcia's outspokenness in the anti-sexual harassment campaign, Fierro in January made a decision to report Garcia to Calderon.

"She also says she has zero recollection of engaging in any inappropriate behavior". He added that he did not report the incident out of concern for his clients, according to Politico.

Burke admitted to investigators that she - according to a document made public February 2 - "participated in an inappropriate conversation regarding anal sex with capitol office staff". Tony Mendoza is on suspension during an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior.

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The head of the Legislative Women's Caucus is accused of two incidents.

Every complaint about sexual harassment should be taken seriously, and I will participate fully in any investigation that takes place. "... Anyone proven to have sexually harassed or assaulted another person, regardless of their gender, should be held accountable for their actions".

Leyva said she will ask the Caucus to meet in the near future to discuss whether Garcia should remain as chair.

"The details of these claims have never been brought to my attention until today", the statement read. "I commit to continue fighting to rid the Capitol and our state of the pervasive culture of sexual harassment, assault, and overall disrespect".

Earlier this week, she sent a tweet asking "what is consent?" accompanied by a picture of Aziz Ansari, the Hollywood actor accused of sexual harassment last month (he denies the charges).

"The #MeToo movement is incredibly powerful, important and necessary", he said. "People had an impression of Cristina", he said.

"I just hope there is a broader discussion about what's appropriate and what's safe in the workplace".