Democrat California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who was accused of sexual assault last week by multiple men, is now facing new allegations of sexual misconduct and alcohol-related misconduct.
Garcia, who was featured on the cover of Time Magazine for her role in helping the #MeToo movement gain momentum, was accused last week of groping multiple men and has since taken a leave of absence while she is under investigation for her alleged sexual crimes.
On Tuesday, lost in the news cycle due to the tragic shooting in Florida, new allegations were leveled against Garcia by four former employees that worked in her office. The allegations were included in a formal complaint filed by San Diego lawyer Dan Gilleon, who said that the anonymous employees will cooperate with an investigation but request that their names not be made public for fear of retribution. The Merced Sun-Star reports:
The complainants allege that Garcia regularly talked about her sexual activity, including with other members, in front of staff. They also allege Garcia drank alcohol while doing official Assembly business and pressured staff to join her in drinking at the office or at bars.
The former employees said they consider her alleged sexual talk in the office a form of sexual harassment that made them uncomfortable at work.
"My clients will vigorously defend what they have said, but I will insist that the Assembly takes serious steps to ensure their protection against reprisal," Gilleon said.
Garcia released a statement on Tuesday in which she maintained that she treated her staff "fairly and respectfully" but did not specifically deny the allegations.
"I am confident I have consistently treated my staff fairly and respectfully," she said in the statement. "In a fast-paced legislative office, not everyone is the right fit for every position, and I do understand how a normal employment decision could be misinterpreted by the individual involved in that decision."