The California Senate announces unprecedented action to tackle sexual harassment in the legislature. Two lawfirms have been hired to function as an independent council to investigate claims of misconduct.
Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon says a bipartisan panel has retained the firms of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Van Dermyden Maddux for two years. They'll conduct independent investigations into allegations against Senators, including Tony Mendoza, and report their findings to the Senate Rules Committee.
"The team will handle all future complaints and investigations and will maintain a 24-hour hotline available for victims to report misconduct," said de Leon at a morning press conference.
The senate will partner with WEAVE to deliver around-the-clock assistance and counseling to victims of sexual misconduct.
"WEAVE will educate senators, staffers and those interfacing with them about sexual misconduct in an effort to change the culture of the capitol community and ensure victims' safety," says WEAVE executive director Beth Hassett.
Asked about recent allegations of inappropriate behavior by Senator Bob Hertzberg, Senator de Leon said they too will be investigated by the newly-retained team of attorneys.