At least nine sitting or former lawmakers were investigated over sexual harassment or misconduct claims in 2018. Here’s a rundown of the allegations and investigation results:
- Former Assemblyman Matt Dababneh: Investigators substantiated allegations he followed a lobbyist into a bathroom and began masturbating in front of her at an event in Las Vegas in 2016. The Democrat resigned but denies the allegations and sued the lobbyist for defamation.
- Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia: She was cleared of allegations she groped a former legislative staff member in 2014 but investigators found she used vulgar language in violation of the chamber’s sexual harassment policies. The Democrat won re-election in 2018.
- Assemblyman Devon Mathis: He was reprimanded for making sexual comments about other lawmakers, described by investigators as “locker room talk.” The Republican won re-election in 2018.
- Former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra: Investigators say he harassed several women while serving as an Assembly staff member about a decade ago. In one case, he put a subordinate’s bracelet down his pants and asked her to retrieve it. The Democrat resigned in late 2017 but maintained his innocence.
- Former Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas: Investigators found he likely forcibly kissed a woman. The Democrat denies the allegations but resigned in late 2017, citing health reasons.
- Former Sen. Tony Mendoza: Investigators say he likely engaged in unwanted “flirtatious or sexually suggestive” behavior with six women, including four subordinates, a lobbyist and a young woman in a fellowship program. The behavior included offering a 19-year-old intern alcohol in a hotel suite at a Democratic Party event. The Democrat resigned in February 2018 but denied wrongdoing.
- Sen. Bob Hertzberg: Investigators found he gave people hugs that made them uncomfortable but concluded it wasn’t meant to be sexual. The Democrat stayed in office.
- Sen. John Moorlach: Investigators say he gave a woman a “noogie,” but did not intend it to be sexual. The Republican still is in office.
- Former Sen. Joel Anderson: Investigators say he threatened to slap a lobbyist at a bar near the Capitol, which he denied, and rubbed her shoulders. Anderson, a Republican, was termed out of office in 2018 and lost a bid for a seat on a state tax board.
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