California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has “done the right thing” by immediately stepping down while under investigation for sexual misconduct, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party said on Friday afternoon.
Garcia is “voluntarily taking an immediate unpaid leave,” according to a statement from Party Chair Mark Gonzalez, issued one day after multiple men accused Garcia of inappropriate behavior, including groping a 25-year-old aide in 2014.
Only two months ago, the 38-year-old assemblywoman — who represents segments of south-east Los Angeles — was featured in a Time Magazine spread championing the “silence breakers” that have spoken out against sexual harassment.
“Of the many things the #MeToo movement has called for, one is that all accusations must be taken seriously, no matter the circumstance,” Gonzalez said. “Following the accusations of sexual harassment, Assemblymember Garcia has done the right thing by stepping aside from her position in order to let the investigation be fully completed without any interruption. We are grateful that all parties concerned are being fully cooperative, and we expect everyone to remain cooperative until the investigation is completed.”
Daniel Fierro claimed to Politico on Thursday that the assemblywoman “squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch” after an annual softball game. Fierro said he didn’t report the incident at first, but after mentioning it to a former boss, has been referred to the Assembly Rules Committee. The incident is currently under investigation.
A Sacramento lobbyist also claimed she made a pass at him: “She came back and was whispering real close and I could smell the booze and see she was pretty far gone,” the man told Politico. “She looked at me for a second and said, ‘I’ve set a goal for myself to f– you.'”