California state senator resigns amid harassment allegations: report

California state senator resigns amid harassment allegations: report
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A California state senator resigned Thursday following an investigation into allegations that he engaged in "flirtatious or sexually suggestive" behavior with six women. 

The Los Angeles Times reported that state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D) stepped down just ahead of a possible vote to remove him from office.

Mendoza announced his resignation in a defiant letter, in which he accused fellow lawmakers of treating him unfairly.


He particularly took aim at Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, a fellow Democrat, saying the lawmaker "will not rest until he has my head on a platter to convince the 'Me Too' movement of his 'sincerity' in supporting the 'Me Too' cause."

Mendoza also suggested in the letter that he could still run for reelection later this year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Mendoza has been accused of inappropriate behavior by six women: Four were his employees, one was a lobbyist and the other worked for another state lawmaker.

An investigative report found that the allegations against Mendoza were "more likely than not," prompting lawmakers to consider whether to remove the state senator from office. State senators were allowed to view the report in its entirety this week. 

Two other California state lawmakers have resigned in recent months in the face of sexual misconduct allegations that emerged as the "Me Too" movement unfolded.

The movement seeks to draw attention to the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, particularly in the workplace. A number of high-profile men in politics, business, media and other industries have faced allegations in recent months.

Mendoza sued the state Senate last week alleging that the chamber had denied his constituents adequate representation.