Lawmaker accused of firing aide who refused kissing game


Lawmaker accused of firing aide who refused kissing game

Tim Reardon, who served as Garcia's chief of staff, said he found the allegations hurled against his former employer baseless.

Two of the employees, who wish to remain anonymous, told Politico they left due to her pressuring them "to alcohol-fueled evening events".

According to Politico, David John Kernick, 38, who worked for Garcia for five months in 2014, filed a formal complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, claiming that he was dismissed from his job for questioning the propriety of Garcia asking staffers to play the game, which requires participants to kiss each other.

Kernick said that after "protesting this sexual harassment", he was written up for insubordination and fired.

Last week, Kernick and three other former staffers signed a letter addressed to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) that charged Garcia with presiding over a "toxic" workplace that included heavy drinking and lurid conversations.

Kernick said that Garcia had not criticized his work until after he challenged her on playing "spin the bottle".

Then, this past Saturday, four of Garcia's former staffers filed a complaint against her in the State Assembly for sexual harassment.

A former employee has come forward with a new sexual misconduct allegation against California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who gained fame for speaking out against sexual harassment and became a face of the #MeToo movement. At first he thought she was just trying to steady herself, but then Garcia grabbed his back, he said, and began to stroke it.

"It's like a malicious, really freakish alternate universe built on a lot of innuendo and lies exclusively to destroy to character of Assemblywoman Garcia", Reardon said.

Garcia took an unpaid leave of absence February 9. "I've never seen the member engage in the behavior listed in the letter by Mr. Gilleon", she said.

It is a stunning twist to the sexual harassment scandal rocking the legislature. They also claimed she openly discussed her sex life. Gilleon said his clients made a decision to come forward after Fierro went public with his allegations.

"However, in response to (the) allegations I will add that in order for legislators to accomplish all we want for the people of our districts and the people of California, we need talented staff who feel empowered to do their work", she wrote.

The Bell Gardens Democrat has called on several male colleagues to step down over sexual misconduct allegations last fall. But in a previous Facebook post, she said she's confident she's treated her staff fairly and respectfully.