Democrat #MeToo movement leader Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) reportedly slept with fellow lawmakers in order to get information out of them, allegedly spoke graphically about her encounters, and allegedly urged fellow lawmakers to play “spin the bottle” after a political fundraiser.
Garcia reportedly told ex-staffers that having sex with other elected officials “was a good way of getting information,” attorney Daniel Gilleon, who is representing them, wrote in a letter to the Assembly Rules Committee, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Her former staffers reportedly declined to name the lawmakers Garcia slept with, but they said Garcia had pressured them into drinking in the office and at outside events, and that she belittled them and disparaged other lawmakers.
New information from three former staffers, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, revealed the damning details of the lawmaker’s conduct.
“It was a power imbalance,”’ one staffer said in an interview with Politico. “You’’re telling me, ‘We’re going to go to a happy hour,’ and I don’t want to do that. It was something that was central — ‘We’re going to go out’ … and I was, ‘I don’t want to hang out with you, I want to go home.'”
According to Politico, David John Kernick, 38, who worked for Garcia for five months in 2014, filed a formal complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, claiming that he was dismissed from his job for questioning the propriety of Garcia asking staffers to play the game, which requires participants to kiss each other.
“It was definitely uncomfortable,” Kernick reportedly said. He reportedly added, “But I realized it’s different for a man than for a woman. … You know it’s inappropriate, but at the same time you may wonder, ‘How many women do you work for that act like that?’ You think … ‘Maybe she’s just really cool.'”
Other allegations against Garcia come from Daniel Fierro of Cerritos, who told Politico that when he was a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) in 2014, an inebriated Garcia cornered and began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch.
Another allegation involves a prominent Sacramento lobbyist who said Garcia allegedly tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser hosted by Governor Jerry Brown for state Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) in May 2017. Garcia was inebriated again at the time of the incident.
Garcia, who has denied any wrongdoing, has taken an unpaid leave of absence since Friday, February 16 and has stated: “I will address each of these issues individually after the investigations into these allegations are closed.”