California Democratic Party chair takes leave of absence amid sexual misconduct investigation

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California Democratic Social gathering Chairman Eric Bauman, who’s going through an inner investigation after a number of occasion staffers accused him of sexual assault or harassment, is taking a go away of absence till the probe is completed, the occasion introduced Monday.

Social gathering spokesperson Mike Roth stated Bauman had determined to take a go away of absence “[a]fter taking the vacation weekend to contemplate probably the most constructive path ahead for the work of the California Democratic Social gathering”.

“Chair Bauman believes this choice is one of the simplest ways to make sure the independence and integrity of the method,” Roth added. “The Social gathering is assured that the procedures in place will permit for all events to return ahead freely and supply for a radical and full overview.”

The interior investigation was launched after occasion Vice-Chair Daraka Larimore-Corridor known as for Bauman’s elimination over what Larimore-Corridor described as “credible, corroborated and completely heart-breaking allegations” by “a lot of occasion workers” who claimed Bauman harassed or assaulted them at occasion capabilities. Others together with California U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna and the Orange County Younger Democrats known as for Bauman to step apart.

Larimore-Corridor’s e mail didn’t embrace particulars about both the alleged incidents or the affected staffers. The Sacramento Bee reported that Larimore-Corridor spoke to 2 accusers and a witness earlier than sending his e mail.

“I take critically any allegation introduced ahead by anybody who believes they’ve been prompted ache,” Bauman stated in an announcement saying the investigation Saturday. “I look ahead to placing these allegations behind us and transferring ahead as unified Democrats.”

The occasion’s government board might vote to take away Bauman from workplace. Nonetheless, Larimore-Corridor’s name for Bauman’s elimination remains to be a number of steps from such a vote.

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Bauman’s go away comes simply weeks after California Democrats made main positive factors within the midterm elections, profitable key congressional seats in territory lengthy held by Republicans.

A sequence of sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to lawmakers, lobbyists and others in politics rocked California’s political world late final yr, on the peak of the #MeToo motion. Three Democratic males resigned as state lawmakers after investigators employed by the state legislature discovered they probably engaged in inappropriate habits.

Bauman narrowly received the occasion chairmanship final yr in opposition to Kimberly Ellis after a contentious battle between institution Democrats and progressive activists. Throughout that struggle, Bauman stated he was falsely focused by rumors he engaged in inappropriate habits with teenage boys. Bauman is the occasion’s first overtly homosexual chairman.

Bauman known as the rumors “despicable lies,” and Ellis denounced them.

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First Vice Chair Alex Rooker is about to take over Bauman’s duties whereas the investigation proceeds.

Fox Information’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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