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Report: Democrat California Senator Engaged in ‘Sexually Suggestive’ Behavior with Six Female Colleagues

FILE - In this Aug. 26, 2016, file photo, state Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, listens at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Eyes are on the California Senate's handling of sexual misconduct allegations against one of its members as lawmakers return to Sacramento for the new year. Mendoza is resisting pressure …
AP/Rich Pedroncelli
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

A Democrat California senator behaved in ways that were “sexually suggestive” toward six of his female colleagues, including four subordinates, an investigation concluded.

The independent investigation released Tuesday, which the California Senate requested be done by outside lawyers, found that Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) “more likely than not” engaged in this type of behavior.

In one instance, Mendoza allegedly made an unwanted advance toward a 19-year-old intern and gave her alcohol in a hotel suite at a 2008 Democratic Party convention, according to the report.

The intern, Jennifer Kwart, publicly accused the senator of making unwanted advances toward her in an interview with the Sacramento Bee in November.

The report also said that Mendoza engaged in unwanted sexually suggestive behavior with two Senate fellows while working as a senator, such as suggesting that one of the women take a vacation with him and asking other women invasive questions about their dating history.

Investigators interviewed 47 witnesses and Mendoza himself before releasing their findings, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Los Angeles-area Democrat’s colleagues in the California Senate will vote on his future in the Senate as soon as Thursday. Mendoza’s colleagues will decide whether to expel, censure, suspend, or reinstate him, but would allow him to defend himself on the Senate floor before making their decision.

 

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