#MeToo lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct

Frederick Owens
February 10, 2018

Complainant Daniel Fierro alleges that Garcia cornered him in a dugout during an annual Assembly softball game held in the state capital of Sacramento. She was clearly inebriated, slurring her words, swaying.

"I felt uncomfortable, but not alarmed yet", he said.

"Her hand was there and it slipped down to my butt and she tried to squeeze", Fierro added.

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".

"The truth is the truth, and that's why I said it", Fierro said. He didn't report it.

Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino), vice-chair of the Women's Caucus, said she is shocked by the allegations. The Caucus has also urged for the release of documents related to sexual harassment investigations. Jerry Brown on Monday. "I can also say I have zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behaviour and such behaviour is inconsistent with my values", Garcia said. The complaint has been forwarded to California's Assembly Rules Committee, who have launched their own investigation. That is up to the legislature to determine, he said.

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".

"I trust that while the investigation proceeds Assemblymember Garcia will respond appropriately and in a way that fortifies the Legislature's effort to create a new climate", he said in a statement.

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The lobbyist also said that Garcia appeared to be intoxicated.

In December, when Time magazine announced that "Silence Breakers" who spoke out against sexual harassment were its Persons of the Year, Garcia's face was prominently included in the art accompanying the cover story. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia (Los Angeles County), who has been on paid leave since January 3 while multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him are investigated. But that changed as the discussion about sexual misconduct heated up in Sacramento and nationwide. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, is also now on a leave of absence while the Senate investigate allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward young women on his staff. An anonymous male lobbyist told Politico on Thursday that Garcia made a crude sexual remark and tried to grab his crotch at a May 2017 fundraiser.

The Politico story Thursday prompted strong responses from legislators and those affiliated with the #MeToo movement.

This #MeToo movement is starting to feel like #MeTooBS if newspaper editors can't wrap their heads around the fact that women are harassers and predators too. "I commit to continue fighting to rid the Capitol and our state of the pervasive culture of sexual harassment, assault, and overall disrespect". Garcia said she refused to work with Bocanegra, "and anyone who takes part in harassment or assault".

"The details of these claims have never been brought to my attention until today", the statement read.

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).

"What is even more upsetting is the ramifications. for the entire #MeToo movement", Fowler said. "People had an impression of Cristina", he said.

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