The California Legislature has refused to release additional information on sexual harassment complaints requested by the Los Angeles Times in the wake of widespread scrutiny on how the Capitol handles such matters.
Officials representing the Senate and Assembly each said late Tuesday that they were denying a request by The Times, submitted on Nov. 3, for data beginning in 2006 for “all cases involving current and former employees of the [Legislature], current or former members, or any other person who was the subject of an inquiry by the [Legislature] where the charges were found to be true, discipline was imposed or the complaints were judged to be well-founded.”
Daniel Alvarez, the secretary of the Senate, and Debra Gravert, the chief administrative officer of the Assembly, cited the Legislative Open Records Act in denying the request. The act says certain records are exempt from mandatory disclosure, including personnel files and records of complaints to or investigations conducted by the Legislature.
Since leaving the Los Angeles mayor’s office in 2013, Antonio Villaraigosa has made more than $4 million by advising companies such as Herbalife, Banc of California and natural resources company Cadiz, teaching at the University of Southern California and earning speaking fees, according to tax returns his gubernatorial campaign released on Tuesday.
In addition, Villaraigosa earns an annual pension payment worth around $100,000 from his years serving in local government.
Villaraigosa is the final Democratic candidate running for governor to release his tax returns. He allowed reporters to review six years of returns Tuesday morning at the San Francisco office of his campaign consultants.
U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas said Tuesday that allegations of sexual harassment made against Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra “describe behavior that's unacceptable under any circumstance” and called for holding people “accountable.”
Cardenas and Bocanegra are both Democrats hailing from the northeast San Fernando Valley and have long been political allies.
Bocanegra announced Monday he would not be seeking reelection and instead would resign on Sept. 1, 2018. The announcement came shortly before The Times reported that six women have accused Bocanegra of unwanted sexual advances.
The regular auctions are a key feature of the program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Cap and trade is one of the state’s main strategies to combat climate change.
In November’s auction, every permit offered by the state was sold, and prices reached their highest-level in the program’s five-year history.
California business leaders on Tuesday said they want to send a resounding message to federal lawmakers: Reauthorize DACA.
On a conference call with reporters, members of the Regional Economic Assn. Leaders Coalition of California said the termination of the Obama-era program would be a devastating blow to the nation’s economy — one hard felt across the state.
DACA provides temporary legal status and work protections for some 700,000 young immigrants known as “Dreamers.” California has the highest number of recipients, roughly 222,800, who live, work or attend schools in the state.
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for governor on Monday, telling a group of underprivileged and minority youths that it was critical to elect a man who understood their struggles and would take their values to Sacramento.
“Rarely do we have an opportunity to get behind somebody that’s walked the streets that we walked, that has faced the challenges we have faced, somebody that can relate to us, somebody that understands us,” Wesson said, speaking at Homeboy Industries in downtown Los Angeles. “And that’s my dear friend, my dear buddy for almost 30 years – Antonio Villaraigosa.”
Wesson is the fourth former state Assembly speaker to back Villaraigosa, who also served in that role.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said Monday that she was “saddened, disappointed, and angered” by allegations that Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra sexually harassed multiple women and called for his immediate resignation.
“For too long, women and men have been subjected to sexual harassment and assault by people in power, and they have felt powerless to stop it. That has to end,” Martinez said in a statement. “Once and for all, it’s time to say this behavior is unacceptable. We cannot allow people in public office to repeatedly abuse their positions to sexually harass and assault others. That’s why I am calling on Assemblyman Bocanegra to immediately resign his office.”
Republican activists were given the green light Monday to launch a petition drive aimed at qualifying a measure for the November 2018 ballot that would repeal recently enacted gas taxes and vehicle fees meant for road repairs and mass transit improvement.
The proposed state constitutional amendment, which would also require future gas taxes to be approved by the voters, was given a title and summary Monday by the state attorney general’s office, allowing opponents of the fuel levies to begin a drive that needs to collect 587,407 signatures of registered voters.
Republicans hope to make the gas tax increases a hot-button issue in the 2018 election for the Democrat-controlled Legislature that approved the hikes.