State Watch

Lawsuit against former California Dems head alleges sexual assault

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A lawsuit filed Wednesday details sexual assault allegations against the former chairman of the California Democratic Party, according to The Sacramento Bee.

William Floyd, an ex-assistant to former California Democratic chairman Eric Bauman, claims in the complaint that Bauman forcibly performed oral sex on him and that both the state and Los Angeles County parties failed to take appropriate action in response, according to the newspaper.

{mosads}Floyd, 28, says he began working for Bauman in 2016 while Bauman was head of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Floyd alleges Bauman assaulted him on multiple occasions and told him “if you cross me, I will break you,” according to the Bee.

“We are reviewing the allegations of the complaint and have no further comment at this time,” a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County party told The Hill.

The lawsuit further claims that Floyd told a senior member of the state party’s management about the alleged assault before the November 2018 elections, and that the next month, the party forced Floyd to move to Sacramento as an attempt to force him to quit, according to the newspaper.

“We have not yet been formally served with this lawsuit and have only learned about the filing of it through media inquiries this evening,” Bauman’s lawyer Neal Zaslavsky said in a statement, according to the Bee. “Mr. Bauman denies the allegations in the complaint and looks forward to complete vindication once the facts come out.” The state and county parties did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. Zaslavsky was not available for comment.

Bauman resigned from his chairmanship last year amid other allegations of sexual assault. Daraka Larimore-Hall, the party’s then-second vice-chairman, filed paperwork seeking Bauman’s removal in response to the allegations. “I believe the victims. Their stories illustrate a clear and escalating pattern of Chairman Bauman’s horrific and dehumanizing behavior,” Larimore-Hall, now the party’s vice-chair, wrote in November.

California Democratic Party Acting Chairwoman Alexandra Gallardo Rooker said the allegations are “very serious” and deserve a hearing.”

“Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant’ and we agree. The allegations that are made in this lawsuit are very serious and deserve a hearing,” Gallardo Rooker said in a statement.

“The most appropriate venue for us all to learn the truth, whatever it may be, is ultimately in the courtroom where we can let the sun shine in.”

Updated at 4:09 p.m.

Tags California state watch

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