CA Senator Resigns After Sexual Harassment Investigation, But Promises He's Not Done

Democratic State Sen. Tony Mendoza stands on the floor of the Senate chambers in between private meetings of the Democratic caucus, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Mendoza's colleagues debated whether to suspend him amid a sexual misconduct investigation during the opening day of the Senate. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

Late Wednesday night California State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Los Angeles) saw the writing on the wall. His former roommate, Senate President Pro Tem (and US Senate candidate) Kevin De Leon introduced a resolution to expel him from the Senate after a sexual harassment investigation was completed February 15.


Part of the resolution reads:

“WHEREAS, the independent investigation was completed on February 15, 2018, and concluded that it is more likely than not that Senator Mendoza engaged in unwanted sexually suggestive behavior with multiple staff members over a period of several years…”

A four-page summary report reviewed by the LA Times revealed that investigators found it was “more likely than not” that Mendoza made unwanted advances toward a 19-year-old intern after giving her alcohol in a hotel suite at a party convention and had engaged in unwanted flirtation with two college-aged Senate fellows. There were no allegations that Mendoza was physically aggressive or “sexually crude” with any of the six women who complained of the unwanted attention.

An anonymous Senate staffer spoke to the LA Times after the resolution was introduced, saying a formal vote could come as early as Thursday. Before his colleagues could vote to expel him, Mendoza delivered a bitter and defiant letter of resignation to the State Senate Thursday morning then posted it on his Twitter account.

In part, it says:

“I refuse to participate any further in the farcical ‘investigation’ against me that ignores the Senate’s own rules, invents processes and criteria and standards as needed, ignores due process and constitutional rights to self-defense all for the purpose of election-year politicking.”

What’s that old saying? Live by the sword, die by the sword? Mendoza’s been around a long time; he should fully understand how positions in the Democrat party change daily, depending on what they feel is advantageous. He continued:


“I shall resign my position as Senator with immediate effect as it is clear that Senate President Pro Tem Kevin DeLeon will not rest until he has my head on a platter to convince the #MeToo movement of his sincerity in supporting the MeToo cause.”

The Senator filed a lawsuit against the State Senate last week and in his resignation letter vowed to continue it. He believes he is being treated differently than other Senators facing sexual harassment claims. In the lawsuit he says:

“This Kafkaesque process is the Senate’s response to the #MeToo movement. It is an unconstitutional sleight-of-hand where attacks on one Senator are used to hide other more serious allegations and offenders from public view.”

Considering the fact that Mendoza and DeLeon were roommates for many years, and the whispers about DeLeon’s conduct have reached a fever pitch, DeLeon’s taking an enormous risk with this strategy.


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