A California state assemblywoman and prominent voice in the fight against sexual harassment in Sacramento is now facing allegations that she harassed and groped a legislative staffer.
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, allegedly cornered Daniel Fierro, a staffer for Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier. Fierro confirmed the account of the encounter.
Fierro told the San Francisco Chronicle that a clearly inebriated, Garcia put her hand on his forearm, then moved her hand to his upper back and started stroking him lightly.
“I felt uncomfortable, but not alarmed yet,” he said. “At some point she dropped her hand down to my butt and squeezed it.”
He spun around and moved to leave when “she reached down for my crotch and very briefly made contact.”
Garcia, 40, is chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, which has been vocal in pushing for lawmakers facing accusations to take a leave of absence while investigations are completed.
The Caucus has also urged for the release of documents related to sexual harassment investigations. Garcia was a co-author of a bill granting whistle-blower protections to legislative staff, a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.