Suit claims sex misconduct by ex-Democratic Party chair
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A third lawsuit was filed Monday alleging that the former chairman of the California Democratic Party sexually assaulted staffers.
The suit, filed against the state party in Sacramento County Superior Court, alleges that Eric Bauman groped and harassed former communications director John Vigna “on nearly a daily basis” and groped a party activist, Spencer Dayton, at least twice. It also alleges that Bauman discriminated against former party operations director Tina McKinnor because she is black, the Los Angeles Times reported .
The suit also alleges that the state party fired Vigna and McKinnor in December as retaliation after they helped another employee file a sexual assault complaint against Bauman. It contends that the party leadership condoned Bauman’s “widely known” conduct.
Bauman’s attorney, Neal Zaslavsky, declined comment, saying he and his client had not seen the lawsuit.
“As with the other pending matters, Mr. Bauman will not be trying this case in the media,” Zaslavsky said in a statement.
Alexandra Rooker, acting chair of the state party, told the Times that the party wouldn’t comment.
“As we’ve stated previously, the most appropriate venue for litigation to be resolved and the truth to see the light is in the courtroom through proper legal procedures,” she said in a statement.
Bauman resigned as party chairman last November amid multiple allegations of excessive drinking and sexual harassment.
Last week a staffer, William Floyd, sued the party and Bauman in Los Angeles, alleging that Bauman forcibly performed oral sex on him.
Three other current and former employees sued in January, alleging discrimination and a culture of harassment and sexual misconduct.