by WorldTribune Staff, February 9, 2018
A leading figure in the #MeToo movement in California has been accused of sexual misconduct.
California Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, the head of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, “is accused of groping a male staffer from another lawmaker’s office,” The Associated Press reported on Feb. 8.
Daniel Fierro told the AP that Garcia stroked his back, squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch in a dugout after a legislative softball game in 2014.
The Assembly is now investigating Garcia.
Fierro said he came forward because of Garcia’s prominent role in the #MeToo movement. His was the only complaint.
“A prominent Sacramento lobbyist says she also accosted him in May 2017, when she cornered him, made a graphic sexual proposal, and tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser,” Politico reported.
The AP noted that Garcia’s photo “was featured in Time Magazine’s Person of the Year issue on being one of the ‘Silence Breakers’ on sexual harassment.”
“If the person leading the charge on it isn’t credible it just ends up hurting the credibility of these very real stories,” Fierro told the AP.
Garcia said in a Feb. 8 statement: “Every complaint about sexual harassment should be taken seriously and I will participate fully in any investigation that takes place. I have zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior and such behavior is inconsistent with my values.”
Fierro said it appeared Garcia may have been drunk at the time of the dugout encounter.
In a November interview with the AP about alcohol-fueled fundraisers and other after-work events that are a part of regular business in Sacramento, Garcia said blaming alcohol isn’t an acceptable excuse for sexually inappropriate behavior.
“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. “I think our public also expects us to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”