The Latest: Women lawmakers urge more action on harassment
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on allegations of sexual misconduct in the California Legislature (all times local):
The top members of the California Legislature’s Women’s Caucus say legislative leaders have failed to enforce the body’s zero-tolerance policies for sexual harassment.
Their statement was issued Friday after Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra apologized for harassing a woman in 2009, when both were legislative aides.
The Los Angeles-area Democrat is the first sitting lawmaker named since a letter was circulated last week by a female lobbyist claiming sexual harassment is rampant at the Capitol. Bocanegra was told not to talk to the woman anymore but wasn’t otherwise punished. He is now serving his second term in the Legislature.
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia and Sen. Connie Leyva say they condemn Bocanegra’s behavior and want the chambers’ male leaders to review it.
They’re also asking leadership to look into Assemblyman Devon Mathis. The Sacramento Police Department says they are investigating allegations against Mathis but have not disclosed details.
A Mathis spokeswoman says the allegations against the Visalia Republican are made up and will be proven false.
A Los Angeles-area Democratic lawmaker is apologizing for sexually harassing a woman in 2009 when he was a legislative staff member.
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra is the first sitting California lawmaker to be publicly identified for facing discipline over sexual harassment allegations since a letter was circulated last week saying there is a “pervasive” culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol.
Bocanegra tells the Los Angeles Times he is “deeply regretful.”
The Times reports Elise Flynn Gyore reported Bocanegra in 2009 after he put his hands in her blouse at an after-work gathering when both were legislative staff members. A letter published by the Times details an investigation that found Bocanegra “more likely than not” engaged in the behavior.
Bocanegra was elected to the Assembly in 2012.