California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who is a high profile “Me Too” advocate who graced the cover of Time magazine’s cover in announcing the “silence breakers” as Persons of the Year has been charged with sexually harassing a male staffer.
How ironic is that?
Not only is she alleged to have harassed the man but he also said that she grabbed his ass and then tried to grab his crotch. Daniel Fierro of Cerritos told POLITICO that in 2014 when he was a staffer for Assemblyman Ian Calderon that Garcia groped him.
Garcia is a powerful politician who chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Natural Resources Committee.
Fierro said that after an assembly softball game, Garcia cornered him. He said that Garcia seemed to be drunk as she started rubbing his back and squeezed his butt then tried to grab his crotch. He pulled away and retreated from her.
Fierro said he never reported the incident, which occurred years before the current #MeToo movement and new whistleblower legislation to protect legislative staffers. But after he mentioned the issue last January to Calderon, his former boss, the matter was then referred to the Assembly Rules Committee, which launched an investigation.
Fierro is not the only one claiming improper advances by Garcia. A prominent Sacramento lobbyist says she also accosted him in May 2017, when she cornered him, made a graphic sexual proposal, and tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser. He spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals.
The lobbyist, who represents a major industry association, said that Garcia appeared to have been drinking heavily at a fundraiser hosted by Governor Jerry Brown for state Senator Josh Newman at the de Veres bar in Sacramento. He said he was heading out the door in part to avoid the assemblywoman — who had been increasingly “flirtatious” and had called him on a few occasions before for late night drinks which he repeatedly declined.
The lobbyist described Garcia’s actions:
“She came back and was whispering real close and I could smell the booze and see she was pretty far gone. She looked at me for a second and said, “I’ve set a goal for myself to fuck you.”
“At that point, Garcia “stepped in front of me and reaches out and is grabbing for my crotch. I was four inches from her, eyeball to eyeball — and I said, ‘That ain’t gonna happen.’”
“No one should have to wait for an investigative article to know the truth about the kind of environment they work in. I’m working with @SEIU1000 on a bill to create a centralized mechanism to track sexual harassment complaints in state government. https://t.co/6Ltyt8NcQP”
No one should have to wait for an investigative article to know the truth about the kind of environment they work in. I'm working with @SEIU1000 on a bill to create a centralized mechanism to track sexual harassment complaints in state government. https://t.co/6Ltyt8NcQP
— Cristina Garcia (@AsmGarcia) January 26, 2018
“I didn’t know I was part of the story. That I was pictured and added to a timeline of this reckoning. It’s an awkwardly humbling experience, but I am proud of this work and the company I am in. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of @TIME &read about the bravery.#MeToo #WeSaidEnough pic.twitter.com/P1bfCDPKCf”
I didn’t know I was part of the story. That I was pictured and added to a timeline of this reckoning. It’s an awkwardly humbling experience, but I am proud of this work and the company I am in. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of @TIME &read about the bravery.#MeToo #WeSaidEnough pic.twitter.com/P1bfCDPKCf
— Cristina Garcia (@AsmGarcia) December 15, 2017
Fierro was able to substantiate his claims because he had immediately notified several people about the experience but decided not to report it because he was afraid she would go after his fledgling business. Other staffers in the assembly said that Garcia was known to talk explicitly about sex to young staffers.
Her actions are bound to damage the “MeToo” movement she has been associated with.