Eric Bauman, chairman of the California Democrat Party, announced this week that he will leave his post amid allegations of sexual misconduct, excessive drinking, and physical intimidation.
Bauman, currently on leave amid an investigation into several sexual misconduct allegations against the embattled state Party leader, revealed he will seek treatment for alcohol abuse. In a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Bauman confirms or deny specific accusations against him.
“I deeply regret if my behavior has caused pain to any of the outstanding individuals with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. I appreciate the courage it took for these individuals to come forward to tell their stories,” a statement via Bauman reads. “In the interest of allowing the CDP’s independent investigation to move forward, I do not wish to respond to any of the specific allegations. However, I will use the time I am on leave to immediately seek medical intervention to address serious, ongoing health issues and to begin treatment for what I now realize is an issue with alcohol.”
“Leading the California Democratic Party to historic victories has been the honor of a lifetime, and I look forward to continuing this important work upon the conclusion of the investigation and when my health allows,” the embattled Party leader added.
Bauman’s statement followed an explosive Los Angeles Times report in which 10 staffers and political activists brought forth allegations against the 59-year-old party boss. Grace Leekley, one of the alleged victims, told the Times that Bauman propositioned her to have sex while working as a temporary staffer. “I felt really embarrassed, almost ashamed, and uncomfortable,” Leekley said in an interview with the paper. “I’m basically bottom-of-the-barrel staff — and he’s the most powerful man in the party.”
The imminent shake-up comes on the heels of California Democrats’ congressional delegation sweeping Orange County, the historically Republican-controlled bastion of Southern California, in the 2018 midterm election.