Male staffer accuses California assemblywoman of misconduct

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia center speaks during a meeting on climate change in Herbert on Nov. 3 2017

Garcia told the New York Times in 2017 that she was one of the women sexually harassed in the capitol during the course of her work, which fueled her passion and drove her to fight against those who subject women to unwanted advances. She has also supported legislation that would give legislative staff members whistleblower protections for reporting sexual misconduct.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, one of the most prominent voices for women's rights in the California Legislature, has been accused of groping a young legislative staffer in 2014.

He said she cornered him alone after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento as he attempted to clean up the dugout. Daniel Fierro says when he was a staffer for an assemblyman, Garcia grabbed and squeezed his butt and tried to grabbed his crotch.

Fierro said that the assemblywoman appeared intoxicated.

The AP noted that Garcia's photo "was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year issue on being one of the "Silence Breakers" on sexual harassment".

He spun around and moved to leave when "she reached down for my crotch and very briefly made contact".

Garcia said she would take the immediate unpaid leave from her position as a lawmaker and all committee posts in order to "not to serve as a distraction or in any way influence the process of this investigation".

But Fierro did inform Calderon's communications director Lerna Shirinian.

Another accuser, whom Politico described as a prominent lobbyist at California's state capital, claims that the lawmaker tried to fondle him at a fundraiser past year. Whilst she remembers going to the softball game, she says, she has "zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behaviour and such behaviour is inconsistent with my values".

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.

A California assemblywoman leading the Me Too movement against sexual assault and harassment is being investigated for misconduct after two men, a former staffer and a lobbyist, said she groped them.

Garcia, who was featured as one of Time Magazine's "Silence Breakers" in the Person of the Year edition, is now under investigation by the state legislature, Politico reports. "I don't think it helps the victims".

Spurned by Garcia's outspokenness in the anti-sexual harassment campaign, Fierro in January made a decision to report Garcia to Calderon. "Every allegation must be taken seriously and once I became aware of Danny's story, I felt that I had an obligation to report it".

POLITICO also quoted an unnamed lobbyist who said that Garcia sexually propositioned him last May and tried to grab his crotch during a political fundraiser. Then, he said, she grabbed him.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous because he represents a major industry association, said Ms Garcia had leaned in close enough to him that he could smell alcohol on her breath. "She looked at me for a second and said, 'I've set a goal for myself to fuck you, '" he told Politico. That was "the line in the sand", according to the lobbyist, and he stopped her. "I was four inches from her, eyeball to eyeball - and I said, 'That ain't gonna happen'".

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