California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra will not be seeking re-election following the allegations of sexual harassment of a colleague.
Bocanegra is the “first political casualty in a wave of sexual harassment allegations at the Capitol,” ABC News reports.
Legislative staffer Elise Flynn Gyore claimed that Bocanegra put his hands inside her blouse during an after-work event at a Sacramento nightclub in 2009 while he was the Assembly chief of staff.
The Assembly investigated Bocanegra at the time and made him stay away from Gyore. But, according to the Sacramento Bee, Gyore believes that was an “inadequate response” by the Legislature.
On Monday, the assemblyman announced that he'll immediately step down from his role, but plans to remain in office until September 2018 to avoid leaving his constituents without representation.
Bocanegra posted on Facebook that he wants to resign and suspend his campaign for the San Fernando Valley seat as soon as possible.
“As you may know, news stories were reported a few weeks ago about a regrettable encounter when I was a legislative staffer in 2009. It was a moment that I truly regret, that I am very sorry for, and for which I have accepted responsibility for my actions,” Bocanegra wrote. “These news reports have since fueled persistent rumors and speculation, and I do not believe that this is in the best interest of my constituents to continue to serve next term.”
The Democrat was first elected as an Assemblyman in 2012.