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(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) was “overly familiar” with a state employee during a 2014 legislative softball game, in violation of the Assembly’s sexual harassment policy, according to an investigative report made public Wednesday.

Other allegations made by Assembly aide Daniel Fierro, including accusations that Garcia touched his genitals and that she retaliated against him after he sought a consultant contract with a school district, were not substantiated by the investigation.

Investigators found “the preponderance of the evidence supported a finding that Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, while in a state of inebriation, encountered Mr. Fierro in the dugout of the 2014 legislative softball game, grabbed his arm for support, put her hand on his back, and was overly familiar with him in a way that she would not have been had she been sober,” said a letter from John T. Kennedy, a private attorney whose law firm represented the Assembly during the investigation. 

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  • California Legislature
The night of the mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks.
The night of the mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks. (Mike Baker / For The Times)

Three weeks after a mass shooting killed 12 people at a Thousand Oaks bar, a state lawmaker on Wednesday proposed a new gun tax to fund violence prevention programs in California.

Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) said he would introduce a bill to tax the sale of semiautomatic firearms, such as the .45-caliber Glock handgun used Nov. 7 in the deadly shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill.

Levine cited the Thousand Oaks shooting this month and another last month that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue as recent examples of gun violence that require more action, but said he had been trying to reduce shootings for years.

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A Pacific Gas & Electric worker replaces a power pole after a 2017 wildfire in Glen Ellen, Calif.
A Pacific Gas & Electric worker replaces a power pole after a 2017 wildfire in Glen Ellen, Calif. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

In a report filed with state regulators Tuesday, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. offered little explanation about why it failed to shut off power in Butte County before the deadliest wildfire in California history.

The utility giant, under pressure to stop its power lines from sparking wildfires, adopted a plan this fall to turn off power during high-risk weather conditions. Days before the Camp fire killed at least 88 people, PG&E warned customers that it might cut electricity in Paradise and other fire-prone areas of the Sierra foothills on Nov. 8. But the company ultimately canceled plans for the shut-off. 

“The forecasted conditions didn’t meet the criteria to initiate a public safety power shutoff,” said James Noonan, a spokesman for PG&E. 

  • State government
Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the Supreme Court to keep a seal on records involving the pardon of former state Sen. Roderick Wright.
Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the Supreme Court to keep a seal on records involving the pardon of former state Sen. Roderick Wright. (Steve Yeater / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown has asked the California Supreme Court to keep records sealed that involve his pardon of former state Sen. Roderick Wright, arguing confidentiality is consistent with historic practice and is supported by state law.

A court filing was submitted late Monday by Peter A. Krause, the governor’s legal secretary, after the nonpartisan First Amendment Coalition last week petitioned the court to unseal records filed by the governor’s office, including a review of the pardon application and letters that supported clemency for Wright.

"Courts have repeatedly recognized an executive privilege that protects the governor's decision-making process from public scrutiny," the filing says.

A mixed-use project on Wilshire Boulevard.
A mixed-use project on Wilshire Boulevard. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

California is failing to meet its goals to reduce vehicle travel, imperiling efforts to achieve ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, according to a state report released Monday.

The report by the California Air Resources Board, the state’s climate change regulator, found that carbon emissions per capita from vehicle travel in California were increasing. That’s despite a decade-old law that required regions across the state to plan for housing growth so that people could live closer to where they work or public transit and reduce their time on the state’s roadways.

“California — at the state, regional and local levels — has not yet gone far enough in making the systemic and structural changes to how we build and invest in communities that are needed to meet state climate goals,” the report said.

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California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman.
California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The California Democratic Party announced on Monday that its chairman, Eric Bauman, would take a leave of absence while he is investigated for unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct.

The leave begins immediately and will continue until the conclusion of an inquiry by an outside counsel, party spokesman Mike Roth said in a statement released Monday evening.

“Chair Bauman believes this decision is the best way to ensure the independence and integrity of the process,” Roth said of the party’s leader, who is from Los Angeles. “The party is confident that the procedures in place will allow for all parties to come forward freely and provide for a thorough and complete review.” 

  • California Legislature
A wave of car break-ins in California has one lawmaker wanting to crack down.
A wave of car break-ins in California has one lawmaker wanting to crack down. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Following reports of increased car break-ins in California, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) said Monday that he will seek to close a loophole in state law that hinders prosecution.

Wiener said car burglaries have reached an “epidemic” level in his hometown. He will introduce a measure, modeled on another, unsuccessful bill he carried earlier this year, that would eliminate a requirement that prosecutors prove that a car’s doors were locked to get a conviction for automobile burglary.

He cited a 26% increase in thefts from vehicles last year in San Francisco, and said thieves are avoiding convictions in cases where they unlock the car, or the car owner leaves the car unlocked.

  • California Democrats
California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman.
California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The California Democratic Party has launched an investigation into unspecified allegations of sexual misconduct against Chairman Eric Bauman involving party staff members.

In a statement released Saturday evening, Bauman confirmed an investigation was underway but did not address the allegations against him. He said that independent counsel has been hired to investigate the matter.

“I look forward to putting these allegations behind us and moving forward as unified Democrats,” Bauman said in the statement.

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It was Gavin’s big moment. But first it was Jennifer’s.

A coalition of bail bond industry groups took a major step Tuesday toward blocking California’s historic overhaul of the bail system, submitting more than enough signatures required for a statewide referendum on the law in 2020.