Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigns “immediately”, while state Senator Tony Mendoza is stripped of leadership positions.
Last week, I reported that California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (a Democrat) announced that he will not seek re-election and immediately resigned his position as majority whip ahead of a story accusing him of multiple incidents of sexual harassment.
The original announcement came hours ahead of a Los Angles Times expose recounting harassment experiences of six women that occurred after Bocanegra was disciplined by the Assembly Rules Committee for a 2009 incident. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon threatened to expel Bocanegra if the allegations were proven.
The outcry from his constituents and women’s groups across the state following the publication of this piece was so loud that Bocanegra rethought his proposed timeline over the Thanksgiving weekend. Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra announced Monday he will resign “immediately,” one week after multiple women alleged he sexually harassed them.
In a statement Monday, he said he decided to accelerate his resignation, which he said was his “original intention.”
“By doing so I hope the community will have a new representative sooner rather than later. Furthermore, it is my hope that in taking this action we can help clear the path so that women and men who have been truly victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment can step forward and get justice for any crimes committed against them. While I am not guilty of any such crimes, I am admittedly not perfect,” Bocanegra said in the statement.
Bocanegra is from the 39th Assembly District, which is deep blue. The replacement will not likely make any significant difference in California politics. However, it makes Sacramento appear more effective in address workplace harassment issues than the nation’s capital.
But the Assemblyman isn’t the only Californian politician who was experienced an actual consequence of their behavior. The California Senate Rules Committee voted to strip state Senator Tony Mendoza of his leadership positions, including chairmanship of the banking committee, pending the outcome of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations by three women.
Holding an emergency meeting before the Senate resumes regular session in January, the bipartisan, five-member Rules Committee voted without comment to suspend Mendoza as chairman of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee and as a member of the state Commission for Economic Development and the California Workforce Development Fund.
Mendoza denies the charges.
The Bee reported last month that Mendoza fired three Capitol staff members after they complained to the rules committee about his behavior toward a fellow who worked in the office, including that he invited her to his home to review her resume. Mendoza, who has called the allegations “unsubstantiated,” and Senate officials have denied any connection.
As in the case of Bocanegra, Californians are less than thrilled Mendoza is lingering in a position of political power and influence.
Bocanegra had the decency to step down. Sexual predator Tony Mendoza is still hanging on. Why do we have to put up with this in 2017? https://t.co/ZakKL4TgwU
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) November 27, 2017
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) November 18, 2017
Highly credible story in the Sacramento Bee about Sen. Tony Mendoza is enough to convince me he should resign. Now. https://t.co/aJUiO6E1aE
— Susan Shelley (@Susan_Shelley) November 12, 2017
Perhaps the US Senate could take a lesson from Sacramento?
Finally, as a Californian, I would like to thank the Los Angeles Times for taking a break from its constant stream of #TrumpHate to do some excellent reporting.DONATE
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