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John Chiang, Gavin Newsom react to allegations against Assemblyman Matt Dababneh

 (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

The allegations of sexual misconduct against Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) reverberated in the California gubernatorial race on Tuesday, with one candidate calling on Dababneh to resign and another donating political contributions he received from the San Fernando Valley lawmaker.

State Treasurer John Chiang urged Dababneh to step down from his Assembly seat, citing the accounts of two women who spoke out publicly against the legislator on Monday.

“There should be zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace,” Chiang said in a statement. “We cannot change the culture in Sacramento if we don’t remove those in power who abuse it.”

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom donated $10,300 he received from Dababneh’s political action committee to Equal Rights Advocates, a nonprofit group that works to expand economic and education opportunities for women and girls, according to a campaign spokesman.

The moves come a day after lobbyist Pamela Lopez claimed that in 2016 Dababneh followed her into a bathroom, masturbated in front of her and urged her to touch him. Dababneh strongly denied the allegation.

Jessica Yas Barker, who worked for Dababneh in Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman’s district office, also accused Dababneh of regularly speaking about his sexual exploits and making degrading comments about women at the office. Dababneh has denied the allegations and said they were “politically motivated.”

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