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Is Asm. Cristina Garcia Showing Up to the July 31 Artesia Chamber Luncheon?


Saturday July 28, 2018

Last week HMG-CN reported that the Artesia Chamber of Commerce located in Artesia, California was holding a “State of the State” luncheon that was causing a firestorm of controversy in and around the tiny Southeastern Los Angeles County town.  

The Chamber  booked embattled 58th District Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) as the guest speaker at their July 31 luncheon. 

After the story was published, HMG-CN learned that at least 20 anti-Garcia union members will attend the luncheon along with representatives from the building and trade union.

With protesters slated to show up, many are asking will Garcia show up?

Garcia is currently under investigation by the California Legislature for sexual-harassment and groping allegations leveled by a former staffer.

But apparently that did not matter to the Chamber President Shalia Patankar or its Board, who claims La Palma President Larry Caballero as a member, an outspoken advocate of Garcia. 

Niether Patankar nor Caballero has returned numerous calls and texts asking if Garcia is attending the luncheon.

Consequently, HMG-CN turned to Teala Schaff, Garcia’s Communications Director for comment, emailing her three  times since July 25.

As of the time of this article, Schaff has not responded to those emails.

The allegations against Garcia began back in February when Daniel Fierro, a resident of nearby Cerritos, told POLITICO that Garcia groped him at the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento.

Fierro said that Garcia appeared drunk came up and started stroking his back, then squeezed his butt, finally attempting a “reach around” to grab his crotch.

Garcia later took an unpaid leave of absence saying, “any claims about sexual harassment must be taken seriously, and I believe elected officials should be held to a higher standard of accountability.”

The first investigation concluded in May with the Assembly Rules Committee finding the groping charges “unsubstantiated,” but three other harassment issues “substantiated.”

Fierro filed an appeal, and the investigation was re-opened, but, contrary to her statement and past actions, Garcia did not take a leave of absence.

She was stripped of all committee assignments by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), only able to vote on Assembly bills; and even that was controversial. 

During the entire harassment investigation period, Garcia was alleged to have committed lurid acts both inside and outside the legislature.

Staffers claimed Garcia drank and bragged about having sex in her office, forced staffers to play “Spin the Bottle,” and had a “Kegerator” in her office.

Garcia also admitted to calling former Speaker of the Assembly John Perez a “homo” and using racial slurs against Asians.

A HMG-CN investigation found that the self-proclaimed #MeToo advocate took $7,000 from Hustler’s Larry Flynt, a man who once said, “I’ve always felt that feminism is an excuse for ugly women to march.” 

Mike Simpfenderfer, who is running against Garcia in November, told HMG-CN,  “It is unfortunate the 58th Assembly District suffered silence and endured no leadership for more than six months. We deserve better and it is time for a change in the 58th. Voters will find me working every day in the district, not once every six months.”