Cal­i­for­nia law­maker rep­ri­manded for mak­ing sex­ual com­ments

Manteca Bulletin - - Dollars & Sense / State -

SACRA­MENTO (AP) — Cal­i­for­nia As­sem­bly­man Devon Mathis was rep­ri­manded last month for mak­ing sex­ual com­ments, in­clud­ing about fel­low law­mak­ers, the Assem­bly an­nounced Wed­nes­day.

A let­ter from the Assem­bly Rules Com­mit­tee to Mathis says his com­ments vi­o­lated the cham­ber’s sex­ual ha­rass­ment pol­icy.

It gave no de­tails about Mathis’ com­ments but de­scribed them as “locker room talk.”

Mathis, a Visalia Repub­li­can, apol­o­gized in a state­ment.

“The locker-room con­ver­sa­tion ref­er­enced in the let­ter, that took place al­most four years ago, was wrong,” he said.

Mathis said the Assem­bly found “no wrong­do­ing of any sex­ual mis­con­duct,” ref­er­enc­ing a part of the let­ter that says an­other mis­con­duct claim was un­sub­stan­ti­ated. The let­ter doesn’t give de­tails about that claim.

Mathis’ of­fice said the un­sub­stan­ti­ated al­le­ga­tion stemmed from a po­lit­i­cal blog post.

The post ac­cused Mathis of sex­ual as­sault and other in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior based on an anony­mous in­ter­view with a per­son who claimed to have knowl­edge of it.

Sacra­mento po­lice spokes­woman Linda Matthew said last year that in­ves­ti­ga­tors found no ev­i­dence to sup­port crim­i­nal charges against Mathis.

Mathis has de­nied all the al­le­ga­tions made against him ex­cept for the “locker-room con­ver­sa­tion,” which he hasn’t contested.

Mathis’ chief of staff Justin Turner said the as­sem­bly­man doesn’t re­mem­ber the con­ver­sa­tion in ques­tion.

“He doesn’t re­call the com­ments him­self, but he didn’t want to keep fight­ing and wast­ing tax­payer dol­lars on more in­ves­ti­ga­tions,” Turner said.

Kevin Liao, a spokesman for Assem­bly Speaker An­thony Ren­don, a Lake­wood Demo­crat, says Mathis will be re­quired to com­plete sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing and in­struc­tion on the Assem­bly’s sex­ual mis­con­duct pol­icy.

Liao said the Assem­bly would not re­lease any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing what com­ments Mathis is al­leged to have made.

Mathis is the most re­cent law­maker to be pun­ished fol­low­ing a sex­ual mis­con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Ear­lier this year, Assem­bly­woman Cristina Gar­cia, a Bell Gar­dens Demo­crat, lost her com­mit­tee as­sign­ments and was re­quired to at­tend sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion found she used vul­gar lan­guage in vi­o­la­tion of the Assem­bly’s sex­ual ha­rass­ment pol­icy.

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