California #MeToo leader Cristina Garcia accused of sexual misconduct

Assemblywoman leading #MeToo movement at California Capitol accused of sexual misconduct

Female California lawmaker at forefront of #MeToo movement probed for sexual misconduct

Garcia in a statement to Politico on Thursday said she has "zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior", adding that "such behavior is inconsistent with my values".

Garcia's office confirmed that the committee informed her on January 23 that it had opened an investigation.

In her statement Thursday, Garcia wrote, "Every complaint about sexual harassment should be taken seriously and I will participate fully in any investigation that takes place". He said Garcia, who appeared to be drunk, stroked his back, squeezed his buttocks and tried to grope him before he was able to leave the situation. Raul Bocanegra announced he would resign amid sexual harassment allegations - but not until the end of the 2018 legislative session - Garcia insisted that wasn't soon enough.

That means that, according to Garcia, it took the Assembly two weeks to notify her that she was under investigation.

Garcia previously told the New York Times she was a victim of sexual harassment at the Capitol of throughout the course of her entire legislative career. The first, at a softball game in 2014.

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In a November interview with The Associated Press about alcohol-fueled fundraisers and other after-work events that are a part of regular business in Sacramento, Garcia said blaming alcohol isn't an acceptable excuse for sexually inappropriate behavior.

The staffer, Daniel Fierro, worked for Assemblyman Ian Calderon at the time.

A Sacramento lobbyist who spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity also said that Garcia verbally harassed him and attempted to grope him at a fundraiser in 2017. It's men who chose to misbehave, not the social events themselves, that create the problems, she said.

"She came back and was whispering real close and I could smell the booze and see she was pretty far gone, " he said. "I think our public also expects us to hold ourselves to a higher standard".

"He was in shock, I was in shock - but the culture was very different back then", Shirinian told Politico.

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The flyer for the scheduled talk described Garcia as "a leading voice for women's issues, government transparency, and environmental justice".

Her image was even prominently used in the December 15 issue of Time naming the "Silence Breakers" on sexual harassment as the magazine's Person of the Year.

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".

Garcia has called on Mendoza to resign.

What makes this even more surprising is that Garcia has been an advocate for legislation to protect whistleblowers against retaliation for speaking up. She's tweeted repeatedly about the importance of sexual consent in recent days.

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Fierro said he fears that his accusation will harm the #MeToo movement since Garcia is so closely associated with it, but made a decision to speak out since her actions are contrary to the movement's cause.

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