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The Latest: Top California Democrat takes leave of absence

November 27, 2018

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on sexual misconduct allegations against the California Democratic Party chair (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

The chair of the California Democratic Party is temporarily stepping aside during an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Eric Bauman’s leave of absence began Monday afternoon. Party spokesman Mike Roth says it will continue through the conclusion of an outside investigation.

A party vice chair has accused Bauman of sexually harassing and assaulting several anonymous accusers during party functions. Daraka Larimore-Hall has not named the alleged victims.

The party’s first vice chair Alex Rooker will serve as acting chair.

Bauman says taking a leave is the best way to ensure the investigation’s independence and integrity.

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11 a.m.

The California Democratic Party has launched an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by party chair Eric Bauman.

Bauman says he takes any allegation seriously and that an outside investigator is looking into the accusations against him.

The allegations have been brought forward by a party vice-chair on behalf of anonymous accusers. Daraka Larimore-Hall alleges Bauman sexually harassed and in some cases sexually assaulted people during party functions. The Sacramento Bee reports Larimore-Hall spoke to two alleged victims and a witness.

Larimore-Hall has called for Bauman’s removal as party chair.

Bauman said in a Saturday statement he looks forward to putting the allegations behind him and the party.

Bauman was elected chair in 2017 after a contentious battle over the party’s direction.

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