A California Democrat assemblyman announced Monday he would be stepping down from his position in light of “rumors and speculation” of his alleged sexual harassment.
Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, the Democratic majority whip in the state assembly, will also not be campaigning for re-election in light of a Los Angeles Times report about six women alleging the assemblyman sexually harassed them, the outlet reported Monday.
The LA Times planned to publish the report soon and handed their findings Friday to Bocanegra for a statement on the allegations. The assemblyman said he was resigning and declining to run again in order to prevent another “costly special election in Los Angeles.”
“It is because of my deep commitment to you, residents of the 39th Assembly District, that I have made the decision to resign from the State Assembly, effective September 1, 2018, and immediately resign my leadership position,” he said in a statement. “I am also suspending my campaign and will not run for re-election.”
Bocanegra also agreed to participate in an ethics investigation into the matter. The LA Times already wrote of a separate situation last month where a woman accused Bocanegra, who apologized Monday, of unwelcome advances and contact.
“I believe rather than adjudicate these allegations in media reports, there should be a formal investigation into these matters,” he wrote. “I am committed to full cooperation.”
Other state representatives and congressmen have been accused of sexual harassment in recent months. At least two women have come forward to accuse Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken of either fondling her while she was asleep or putting his hand on her behind while the two took a photo .Franken apologized for the first allegation, but said he did not remember the photo incident.
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