State Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) said Thursday he will cooperate with a state investigation into complaints from a former legislator that she was uncomfortable with his repeated hugs after she asked him not to touch her.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said Thursday that a team of outside attorneys will investigate a complaint by former Assemblywoman Linda Halderman that Hertzberg has made her uncomfortable with hugs that were too close and lasted too long.
Hertzberg, well-known for hugging other lawmakers, said he supports having any allegations investigated by the two outside law firms.
Rep. Maxine Waters is asking the Justice Department to look into a fake letter posted to Twitter by her Republican challenger that falsely indicated the congresswoman wants to resettle tens of thousand of refugees in her Los Angeles district.
The GOP candidate, Omar Navarro, posted the letter on what looks like official House of Representatives letterhead to Twitter on Monday. The letter, which purports to be from the congresswoman, says the congresswoman wants to bring refugees to her congressional district after the 2018 election “and perhaps even once I have secured the Speaker of the House position.”
Navarro accompanied the tweeted letter with a message: “According to this document, Maxine Waters wants more terrorists, like the one who bombed NYC, in California’s 43rd District. As Congressman of CA’s 43rd District, I will oppose such policies.”
Defying pressure from legislative leadership, state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) refused Thursday to take a leave of absence until an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him is concluded early next year.
Mendoza has denied allegations by former employees that he treated three female aides inappropriately, inviting them to hotel stays and asking one to visit his home to work on her resume.
“I am very disappointed that certain Senate Rules Committee members are apparently asking me to take a leave of absence or resign before any investigation has even begun and without giving me an opportunity to defend myself,” Mendoza said in a statement. “This is contrary to the very concept of due process, which is a pillar of our American system of fairness and judicial prudence. These actions bypass any process in a rush to judgment.”
State Senate leader Kevin de León said Thursday he has “strongly suggested” that Sen. Tony Mendoza take a leave of absence until the completion of an investigation by outside attorneys into allegations that Mendoza sexually harassed three former aides.
“Given the severity of the allegations against Senator Mendoza I do not believe he can perform the duties in Sacramento right now while the investigation is being conducted,” De León told a packed news conference in his Capitol office. “I believe It’s the right thing to do, it’s the fair thing to do,” to take a leave, he said.
The Senate leader also said the outside attorneys have been asked to investigate complaints by former Assemblywoman Linda Halderman that Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) inappropriately hugged her on multiple occasions in a way that made her uncomfortable, even after she asked him to stop.
Moments after the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to roll back net neutrality regulations, a state senator pledged to introduce legislation that would preserve open internet protections for consumers in California.
“Net neutrality is essential to our 21st century democracy, and we need to be sure that people can access websites and information freely and fairly,” Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) said in a statement. “If the FCC is going to destroy net neutrality and create a system that favors certain websites just because they can pay more money, California must step in and ensure open internet access.”
The announcement of the proposal came shortly after the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality in an expected 3-2 party-line vote, with Republicans calling for an end to the utility-like oversight of internet service providers.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has repeatedly failed to follow its own rules for issuing concealed weapon permits, the state auditor concluded in a report released Thursday.
L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell disputed some of the key findings of the audit, saying state officials misinterpreted the policy.
The department policy requires applicants to provide “convincing evidence” of a “clear and present danger to life or of great bodily harm” to get a license,but the auditfound the department issued 24 licenses during the last few years without sufficient evidence.
California Senate Republican leader Patricia Bates is wading into the sexual harassment debate that has swept up the Capitol and is calling on her Democratic colleagues to allow whistleblowers to speak out by releasing them from non-disclosure agreements.
Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) wrote in a letter to the Democratic legislative leaders — Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) — that Senate Republicans are calling for the Legislature to allow victims or witnesses who may have signed such agreements to share their experiences publicly.
“This release from NDAs would empower victims of sexual harassment, create a new atmosphere for resolving sexual harassment or discrimination concerns, increase public awareness and transparency, and ensure that both the Senate and the Assembly fulfill their obligations to the public and their employees for providing a safe and welcoming workplace environment,” Bates wrote in the letter, dated Dec. 12.