State Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) has always had a reputation as a hugger, but the Senate Rules Committee says that needs to change. Hertzberg was investigated for sexual harassment after three women said he gave them unwanted hugs. A Senate sergeant-at-arms also complained about Hertzberg’s actions.
While the committee reprimanded Hertzberg, it spared him more severe discipline.
"Based on the ... findings and mitigating factors, such as the fact that the majority of the hugs were not unwelcome, the motivation is not sexual in nature ... and you expressed remorse, the Senate Rules Committee is giving you this letter of reprimand," the committee wrote to Hertzberg. Read the full letter below.
However, he was warned that he is on notice that any future similar behavior will result in the committee recommending a harsher punishment.
Hertzberg said he will respect the committee’s request. In a letter to his fellow senators he apologized for his actions, though he said his hugs are meant to express warmth and kindness.