California Lawmaker, Outspoken Leader Of #MeToo Movement, Accused Of Sexual Harassment

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SACRAMENTO, CA - JUNE 23: California Girl Scout Gold Award recipients present a commemorative Girl Scout pin to Assemblymember Cristina Garcia on June 23, 2016 in Sacramento, California.

But Sen. Connie Leyva, a Chino Democrat who serves as vice chair for the California Legislative Women's Caucus under Garcia, quickly called on her to take a leave of absence while the review is pending.

The staffer, Daniel Fierro, worked for Assemblyman Ian Calderon at the time. The Assembly Rules Committee began its investigation shortly afterward, Politico reported. He said Garcia, who appeared to be drunk, stroked his back, squeezed his buttocks and tried to grope him before he was able to leave the situation.

"We are concerned about these reports and they need to be investigated thoroughly, without a delay", the group We Said Enough, which sparked the movement against sexual harassment in the Capitol, said in a statement.

Garcia said she would fully cooperate with any inquiry. Jerry Brown giving legislative staff members whistleblower protections for reporting sexual misconduct or other misbehavior.

"She also says she has zero recollection of engaging in any inappropriate behavior".

Garcia, 38, a native of Bell Gardens in Los Angeles County and a former math teacher, was elected to the Assembly in 2012.

Two people have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Cristina Garcia.

. She has also spoken out forcefully against male colleagues accused of sexual misconduct, in some cases calling for them to resign.

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On Twitter she wrote of her inclusion: "I didn't know I was part of the story". Her picture was featured in Time Magazine as one of the "Silence Breakers" in its Person of the Year Issue. "It's an awkwardly humbling experience, but I am proud of this work and the company I am in". "I would say that most of the public realizes that our job is based on relationships, and so we are expected to go out there and socialize", she said.

A second man, a lobbyist who has remained anonymous, said Garcia attempted to grope his crotch and told him she wanted to have sex with him at a fundraiser in 2017. At first he was concerned about her falling over. In a statement, a spokesperson said Garcia was aware of the report, but not the details, though she denied recalling any inappropriate behavior.

Burke admitted to investigators that she - according to a document made public February 2 - "participated in an inappropriate conversation regarding anal sex with capitol office staff". "He was in shock, I was in shock". And while I do not know about the payback situation firsthand, the allegations against him are so preposterous as sexual harassment, as a 20-year Human Resource Director, I may have had a hard time taking those seriously. Lerna Shirinian, Calderon's communications director, said Fierro told her about the incident right after it happened. Fierro at the time of the incident was 25 years old. He said he never felt threatened by Garcia, nor did he fear any imminent retaliation, and he noted that he had no trouble extricating himself from the encounter. She added the #MeToo and #WeSaidEnough to the tweet. "But the power dynamic was there". "The substance of what Cristina has said on these issues is absolutely legitimate".

The California official credited for leading #MeToo into a national movement has been accused by a former staffer of sexual misconduct.

Garcia's spokeswoman Teala Schaff said the assemblywoman learned January 23 a complaint was filed but was given no details and only learned the specifics of the allegations from Politico.

On Friday, Garcia urged the Assembly to conduct a "thorough and expeditious investigation" so she could get back to work as an Assemblywoman.

Fierro has been interviewed in connection with the probe.