Artesia Democrat Tony Mendoza has resigned from the California State Senate it was announced today.
The California Senate was poised to take action on Mendoza after he had been accused of misconduct in his office with as many as six women. Senators from both parties met behind closed doors yesterday, but didn't arrive at a decision on whether to expel, suspend, censure or allow him to return to work.
In a letter posted to Twitter, Mendoza said it was with great pain that he resigned today from the Senate and decried the investigation.
"I refuse to participate any further in the farcical "investigation" against me that ignores the Senate's own rules, invents processes, criteria and standards as needed, ignores due process and constitutional rights to self-defense all for the purpose of playing to election year politicking."
Mendoza closed with an appeal to the voters who elected him and teased a possible Senate run in 2018.
"I want to thank the voters in the district who elected me for their continued and strong support. I intend to canvass my district to determine my candidacy for the Senate this year. I also intend to pursue my lawsuit against the Senate for violating the constitutional rights of my district's voters and mine, dealing with me disparately compare to others charged with more serious allegations and leaving the 32nd District without representation."
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon introduced Senate Resolution 85, which would have expelled Mendoza on Wednesday, and was scheduled to be voted on today. Mendoza resigned before the vote could be taken.
"Let me be very clear. We won't tolerate abuse of power and the pattern of behavior that violates our harassment standards," Senate Leader Kevin de Leon said today.
An investigation by the Sacramento Bee revealed several sexual misconduct allegations involving three former employees over the last ten years. The Senate hired two law firms to investigate the allegations, the results of which, were released last week. The report concluded that Mendoza "more likely than not" engaged in "unwanted flirtatious or sexually suggestive behavior" toward six different women since 2007.