The Latest: Staffer complained about California GOP hopeful

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Posted: Feb 02, 2018 5:53 PM
The Latest: Staffer complained about California GOP hopeful

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on documents revealing sexual misconduct complaints against California lawmakers (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

A California state employee says Republican Assemblyman and candidate for governor Travis Allen inappropriately touched her in early 2013.

The heavily redacted complaint was released with other sexual harassment documents by the state Legislature Friday. It says on separate occasions Allen stood uncomfortably close to the woman, touched her foot with his, and squeezed her shoulders.

The employee says another woman said Allen held her hand too long during a handshake and "petted it."

The Assembly's chief administrative officer told Allen he made two women uncomfortable by being overly familiar. Allen was advised "to be very conscious of his conduct."

Allen, of Huntington Beach, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

He said then that he could not recall any time when he might have been too familiar with staff.

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2:30 p.m.

Assemblywoman Autumn Burke is the only woman lawmaker named in sexual misconduct documents the California Legislature released Friday.

The documents show the Los Angeles Democrat admitted to participating in an inappropriate discussion about anal sex.

The Assembly's human resources director discussed the inappropriateness of the conversation and the need to maintain a professional office environment with Burke. There was no other punishment.

Burke says the complaint stemmed from an after-hours discussion in which an aide was sharing a personal story. She says the complaint was filed by a "disgruntled former staff member" but she took full responsibility.

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2:30 p.m.

A former staffer said Sen. Bob Hertzberg pulled her close to him, began to dance and sing to her in a way that made her feel uncomfortable.

The employee said she was working in Hertzberg's office when he came in to ask about a paint color in the room. She reported the incident to investigators in April 2015, saying it was uncomfortable and unwelcome.

Records show Hertzberg met with the Senate secretary and employment lawyer, who told him he was making staff uncomfortable.

Hertzberg called the incident a "settled matter" involving a family friend.

Three women have also said the Van Nuys' Democrat's penchant for hugging people as a greeting made them feel uncomfortable. He has said he'll stop in light of the focus on workplace harassment.

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12:30 p.m.

Documents released by the California Legislature show four lawmakers have faced sexual misconduct complaints since 2006. None were formally punished.

The complaints are detailed in documents released Friday in response to public records requests.

They show complaints against Democratic Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, Democratic Sen. Tony Mendoza and Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg.

Burke acknowledged participating in an inappropriate discussion about anal sex and says she took responsibility when the 2017 claim was brought to her attention.

Hertzberg was accused of grabbing a staff member, dancing and singing to her in 2015.

Allen faced accusations of inappropriately touching a female staffer in 2013, which he said he didn't remember.

A staffer complained Mendoza sent her text messages unrelated to work in 2010 that made her uncomfortable. He was suspended last week as misconduct claims are investigated.