Sacramento (CBS13) – It started this morning when Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra announced his resignation a week after he said he would finish out his term. Less than an hour later, the Senate announced Senator Tony Mendoza has been suspended from several committees he serves on.
The state Senate doesn’t resume session until January. But Monday, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon called an emergency hearing for a vote to remove Senator Tony Mendoza from his leadership posts at the state’s banking and financial institutions.
A spokesman for De Leon says Mendoza’s suspension is pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
De Leon, who’s in the middle of a statewide campaign for US Senate, recently announced he moved out of a Sacramento house he shared with Mendoza.
He issued a statement on the senator’s demotion, reading in part:
“This is only one important step – the next is a full, independent investigation led by outside experts, with publicly reported findings”
For now, the assembly is scrambling to deal with misconduct claims.
“With elected officials who is accountable?,” said Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.
Friedman (D- Glendale) is preparing for the first hearing on sexual harassment at the legislature, set for Tuesday.
It follows the resignation of Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, who’s been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women- also, women who worked for him.
“What’s happening now as painful as it is for everybody… it is healthy because nobody should be afraid to come forward and it’s time that we make the changes that we need in our culture,” she said.
The women who started the We Said Enough campaign want those changes to include whistleblower protections and victims’ confidential crisis counseling services, to name a few.
Some will even testify at tomorrow’s hearing here at 1:30. It’s open to the public.