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Downey and Norwalk Chambers of Commerce Ignore Sexual Harassment Investigation, Invite Asm. Cristina Garcia to Speak at Luncheon




Wednesday Aug. 15, 2018 3:15 p.m.

Under investigation for sexual harassment and groping evidently does not matter to cash-strapped Chambers of Commerce in Los Angeles County as evidenced by the Artesia Chamber of Commerce hosting embattled 58th District Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) at their July 31 luncheon event.

Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News was the only media outlet to report on the raucous chamber lunch, a lunch that was attended by Los Angeles County Sheriffs at the chamber’s request.

Several anti-Garcia union representatives and Erin Lehane, the Executive Director of Working Californians Against Corruption, also attended.

Assemblywoman Garcia only took softball questions during the session and would not acknowledge the union representatives nor Lehane’s questions about her harassment and groping allegations levied by a former staffer.

The lunch ended with Sheriffs escorting Garcia to her car.

Now the Downey and Norwalk Chambers are ignoring the months-long Garcia harassment investigation, holding a lunch on September 12 in Downey and inviting Garcia.

In an unusual move for a state elected official, Assemblywoman Garcia is billed as the “foreword speaker” and not the keynote speaker of the event.

Betty Portos, owner of the popular Portos’ Bakery in Downey, is the keynote speaker.

Sources are telling HMG-LCCN that several union representatives and other anti-Garcia groups will “definitely attend.”

It is unknown if Assemblywoman Garcia will take questions given her foreword speaker label.

HMG-LCCN sent an email to the Norwalk Chamber for comment. Caren Spilsbury, Executive Director wrote, “please reach out to the Downey Chamber for a comment, they are the host for this event and set up the speakers. We are partnering, but not the hosts.”

An email into Michael Calvert, Executive Director of the Downey Chamber went unreturned.

The harassment and groping 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.”

Just days later, more accusations were levied, including Garcia asking staffers to play “spin the bottle” and reports she had a “kegerator” in her office.

A little over one month later, Garcia was accused of making racial slurs, reprimanded by former Assembly Speaker John Perez in 2014 for making insensitive comments directed toward Asians.

The first investigation concluded in May with the Assembly Rules Committee finding the groping charges “unsubstantiated.”

But three other harassment issues were “substantiated.”

An article by HMG-LCCN found that the Rules Committee investigators did not interview critical witnesses, the article alleging the investigation was rigged.








Fierro filed an appeal, and the investigation was re-opened and is ongoing.



Assembly Re-Opens Sexual Harassment Investigation of Cristina Garcia




But this time, even though she is under investigation, Garcia did not take a leave of absence.

This after taking every opportunity to blast other legislators who were under investigation but did not take leave.

“Leave means leave,” Garcia said in a statement to the Sacramento Bee about Tony Mendoza. “Mr. Mendoza continues to show his lack of willingness to adhere to the rules he’s been told to abide by in the State Legislature.”

She added, “that the community must take this issue seriously. Organizations should ask him to leave their event and others should follow suit until this matter is resolved.”

By her own admission, Garcia should not attend nor should the chambers of commerce invite Garcia until her harassment and groping investigation is resolved.

Garcia recently showed her insincerity in a Facebook post concerning the USC scandal where a $100,000 donation from a campaign fund controlled by Mark Ridley-Thomas went to USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.




Garcia posted, “I am not sure how this [donation] was allowed to happen in the first place. However, I am glad USC is taking it seriously. I hope the federal prosecutors do so as well. I am no legal expert, but even a novice can discern the situation simply doesn’t pass the smell test. Please like and share.”

That post is particularly disingenuous given Garcia lied to voters in 2012 about obtaining a doctorate degree from USC.

HMG-LCCN was the first media outlet to report Garcia’s fabrication.

She later issued a statement saying, “In my campaign literature for state assembly, I stated that I have a PhD from USC. While I have finished all of my course work, I technically am only a PhD candidate. I take full responsibility for using the term PhD instead of PhD candidate in my campaign literature. For that I humbly apologize and ask for the forgiveness and understanding of all the voters of the 58th Assembly District.”


Assembly hopeful Cristina Garcia admits not having Doctoral credentials; seeks ‘forgiveness’ from voters


Erin Lehane, Executive Director of Working Californians Against Corruption told HMG-LCCN, “We need to promote women who are positive role models for our daughters, I assume that the two Chambers shares in this goal. Cristina Garcia, who has been found to have violated the Assembly’s sexual harassment policy, is not such a role model. I think we can all agree, we don’t want our daughters growing up to be harassers and abusers.”

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  • Christopher Garrison says:

    Cristina Garcia should invite Asia Argento to star in her next campaign commercial! Just make sure there are no teenage boys on set or things could get problematic. Don’t want Asia getting up to her old tricks again!

    Former MeToo leaders who have been exposed as world-class hypocrites should stick together, right?