Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said she is looking forward to returning to work after claims she groped former Assembly staffers could not be substantiated by independent investigators. In a statement, Garcia said she was made aware of the results of the independent investigation Thursday morning.
In a statement, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) confirmed the report's findings. However he noted Garcia was found to have used vulgar language in violation of Assembly sexual harassment policies.
"As Speaker of the Assembly, I believe our members have the responsibility to treat constituents, staff, colleagues and the entire Capitol community with respect and dignity," he said. "Disappointingly, that has not always been the case with Assemblymember Garcia."
Garcia took an unpaid leave of absence in February after the complaints were made. In her statement she apologized for her crude language.
"I would like to sincerely apologize to my colleagues in the Legislature, my staff and most importantly to the residents of the 58th Assembly District for instances where my use of language was less than professional," she said. "I want to assure everyone that I have learned from this experience and will do everything in my power to make amends for my past."
Garcia previously told KQED in an interview she has used derogatory words when speaking about some of her colleagues.
The assemblywoman was a prominent leader in the #MeToo movement before these allegations were made against her. One of her accusers says he's considering whether to appeal the findings.
Whenever she does return to work, Garcia will have less to do. Rendon said he’s removing Garcia from all her committee assignments and requiring her to go through sensitivity training. She’s up for re-election this year.