Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia Taking Leave of Absence Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia denied accusations of sexual misconduct on Friday but said she would voluntarily take unpaid leave while an investigation takes place.

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, center, speaks during a meeting on climate change in Herbert on Nov. 3, 2017 (Credit: a58.asmdc.org)

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, center, speaks during a meeting on climate change in Herbert on Nov. 3, 2017 (Credit: a58.asmdc.org)

“Upon reflection of the details alleged, I am certain I did not engage in the behavior I am accused of,” Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) said in a statement, but added that “any claims about sexual harassment must be taken seriously, and I believe elected officials should be held to a higher standard of accountability.”

Garcia said she would take an unpaid leave “so as not to serve as a distraction or in any way influence the process of this investigation,” and urged the Assembly to conduct a “thorough and expeditious investigation.”

The statement comes one day after Politico reported that two men alleged improper sexual advances from Garcia. She has been one of the most vocal legislators speaking out about sexual harassment in the state Capitol.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.