CALIFORNIA LAWMAKER RESIGNS FOLLOWING MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS

Raul Bocanegra

Raul Bocanegra resigned on Monday following claims of sexual misconduct, making him the first councilman to leave office following a series of reports.
Raul decided to leave after a serious discussion with his supporters, family, and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday. The democrat council had previously agreed he would leave office at the end of his legislative session. Many women have accused him of groping and kissing them without their permission.

His office released a statement in hopes he would clear his name. Bocanegra admitted to not being perfect although he denied the accusations. “The principle of innocent until proven guilty has lost in the political opportunism,” he wrote.

Sen. Tony Mendoza chair of the insurance, banking and financial institutions committee, voted to be removed by the Senate rules committee on Monday, this is after accusations of inappropriate behavior toward young women working for him. Accused of offering a 19-year-old alcohol and inviting women to his home.

Mendoza has denied allegations of giving alcohol to a staff member and would never abuse his authority knowingly. In a statement, he agreed with the Senate's decision to seek outside counsel in evaluating the allegations against him.

Tem Kevin de Leon president of the Senate has called Mendoza’s behavior troubling. He left the meeting without commenting. On Tuesday a separate Senate panel will meet to discuss all senate’s misconduct allegations, including one on Mendoza.

2009, this is when accusations against Bocanegra first came to light. Elise Gyore, a fellow staff member, had reported him to assembly investigators. She claimed that Bocanegra stalked her to a club at an after-work event where he put his hands down her blouse. He was to keep a distance from her, but documents don’t show if he obeyed.

A meeting scheduled for Tuesday where the assembly will discuss on how to evaluate and improve the policies, this policy will ensure no sexual misconduct goes unchecked. The conference is the first of a series of public hearings.

Bocanegra saw as a rising star after being elected to the assembly in 2012. Two years later he lost to Patty Lopez before regaining his position in 2016.
Special elections will be held to replace Bocanegra. His resignation leaves Assembly Democrats one vote shy, set to be gained back in December.

More than 150 women working in and around the capital signed a letter pointing to what they call cultural harassment. These women include advisors, legislators, political consultants and lobbyists.


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