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Senator Tony Mendoza Will Not Take a Leave of Absence, Questions Fairness of Investigation

By Brian Hews

State Senator Tony Mendoza on Thursday, refused to take a paid leave of absence under pressure from leadership.

Mendoza has denied harassment allegations brought on by three women and is asking that the investigation be concluded before any actions are taken.

Menodoza’s former roommate, Senate leader Kevin De Leon, earlier in the day had called on Mendoza to take a leave of absence

The Senate could vote to suspend Mendoza without pay but is unlikely to do so.

Mendoza questioned statement asking him to step down and now he is concerned about the fairness of the investigation.

In a statement sent to HMG-CN Mendoza stated:

“I am very disappointed that certain Senate Rules Committee members are apparently asking me to take a leave of absence or resign before any investigation has even begun and without giving me an opportunity to defend myself. This is contrary to the very concept of due process which is a pillar of our American system of fairness and judicial prudence. These actions bypass any process in a rush to judgement.

The Senate Rules Committee made a public commitment to a new, open, transparent and fair process which would be independent of the Senate. I have welcomed the Committee’s decision. However, I am disappointed with the statements and it leaves me concerned about the independence, transparency and fairness of the new process.

I have been diligent in adhering to the rules of the Senate and in following direction from the Senate Rules Committee in refraining from making any comments on the allegations against me.

I have noted that my adherence to Senate rules and the Senate Rules Committee’s directive has put me in an untenable situation where I am unable to respond to various media reports without any opportunity to defend myself. This has been very unfair and unjust to me and my constituents.

I was not appointed to the position I hold but was elected by the voters in my District. I am grateful to the voters in my District and thank them for their trust and their continued support. The Senate owes them an opportunity to hear the truth. I assure them that I will vigorously defend myself to clear my name.”