California Democratic Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra of Los Angeles has resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations.
In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Bocanegra said that he had initially intended to resign last week when he announced he was leaving his office. Accusations had been swirling around the Assemblyman from Los Angeles after the Los Angeles Times broke the story about six women who said Bocanegra inappropriately touched or communicated with them.
Bocanegra announced his resignation last week, but said he intended to serve out the rest of his term. However, the Democrat said, after further reflection over the holiday weekend, he felt it was best for him to step aside now.
Upon further reflection during the recent holiday weekend, and conversations with family, friends, supporters, I have decided to resign earlier from the State Assembly effective immediately, which was my original intention.
Bocanegra hopes that his resignation will help the community move on and find a new representative who isn't weighed down by baggage like his.
By doing so I hope the community will have a new representative sooner rather than later. Furthermore, it is my hope that in taking this action we can help clear the path so that women and men who have been truly victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment can step forward and get justice for any crimes committed against them. While I am not guilty of any such crimes, I am admittedly not perfect.
Bocanegra's message finished with a warning for anyone who might be using the issue of sexual assault as a way to further their own political gain.
I sincerely hope that my decision to resign immediately does not embolden those who are using this serious problem in our society to advance their own personal political gain, rather it is my hope that this action can instead help to widen the doors for victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment to find justice and solace.
His resignation is "effective immediately" according to the post.
Tomorrow the Assembly is scheduled to hold a public hearing on how to prevent discrimination and harassment in the state's capitol.