She demanded they all play spin the bottle.
A former employee has come forward with a new sexual misconduct allegation against California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who gained fame for speaking out against sexual harassment and became a face of the #MeToo movement.
David John Kernick claims that Garcia fired him because he refused to play “spin the bottle” and questioned why she would make staffers play the game.
Kernick, 38, who worked for the assemblywoman for five months in 2014, described to POLITICO an evening of heavy drinking in which Garcia ended up sitting on a hotel room floor with about half-dozen people — including her staffers and at least one male friend — and prompted them to play a game that results in participants kissing each other.
“It was definitely uncomfortable,’’ said Kernick, adding that the assemblywoman’s suggestion was met with discomfort and then ignored. “But I realized it’s different for a man than for a woman. … You know it’s inappropriate, but at the same time you may wonder, ‘How many women do you work for that act like that?’ You think … ’Maybe she’s just really cool.’’’
“It muddies the waters,” he said.
Apparently Garcia never showed dissatisfaction with Kernick’s work in her office until “he questioned the appropriateness” of her suggesting they play the game. Garcia wrote him up insubordination and fire him him two days later.
Kernick and three other former staffers sent an open letter to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon that accused Garcia of operating “a ‘toxic’ workplace where activities included regular heavy drinking with staffers, sexually charged meetings and raunchy conversations highlighting details of her sex life.”
Two of the employees, who wish to remain anonymous, told Politico they left due to her pressuring them “to alcohol-fueled evening events.” They didn’t want to participate, but the staffer said they all worried about retribution if they refused.
The staffer said that the conversations with Garcia turned vulgar since it was all about the assemblywoman talking about her personal sexual experiences. She described it as “bragging.”
The letter also said “that Garcia sometimes directed her staff to perform campaign work, such as fundraising and donation request calls, on Assembly time,” which is illegal to do.
Earlier this month, Daniel Fierro spoke out about how Garcia groped him in 2014 at the annual Assembly softball game:
Garcia was “clearly inebriated,” Fierro said, and grabbed his arm. At first he thought she was just trying to steady herself, but then Garcia grabbed his back, he said, and began to stroke it.
“Her hand was there and it slipped down to my butt and she tried to squeeze,” Fierro said. He said he knew then that it had crossed a line and he spun away from her to leave. As he was walking past her, Fierro said, Garcia made a grab for his crotch.
“The entire encounter lasted 30-45 seconds,” he said. “I was in shock. I was embarrassed.”
A Sacramento lobbyist said that Garcia grabbed his crotch at a political fundraiser in May 2017. She reeked of alcohol and told him, “I’ve set a goal for myself to f*ck you.”DONATE
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