LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A state legislator from the Los Angeles area was accused of urging staffers to play “spin the bottle” in a booze-fueled hotel party after a political fundraiser, it was reported today.
California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia is on unpaid voluntary leave, after the high-profile #MeToo movement activist was placed under investigation herself for alleged sexual harassment.
The national political website Politico reported that David John Kernick on Saturday filed a formal complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Politico reported that Kernick claims he was fired from his job in Garcia’s Bell Gardens office, after he questioned the propriety of asking staffers to play spin the bottle.
Garcia is a prominent advocate of the “#metoo” movement and has had a national profile in uncovering sexist and piggish treatment of women by men at the California Legislature.
On Wednesday, San Diego lawyer Dan Gilleon filed a formal complaint with the Legislature detailing the allegations on behalf of four anonymous former employees in Garcia’s office. They allege that Garcia regularly talked about her sexual activity in front of staff, according to reports from Sacramento last week.
In the Politico article, Kenrick told of an evening of heavy drinking in which Garcia ended up sitting on a hotel room floor with about half-dozen people — including her staffers and at least one male friend — urging them to play spin the bottle and kiss the person it selected.
“It was definitely uncomfortable,” Kernick told Politico, and the people in the room ignored it. The 38-year-old legislative aid was later fired, he said.
Garcia was one of hundreds of Sacramento women who signed a letter with the hashtag “#WeSaidEnough” to protest male harassment, Politico reported today. The assemblywoman is a Democrat from Bell Gardens in southeast Los Angeles County, and is now on an unpaid, voluntary leave of absence.
Politico said it could not reach Garcia for comment.