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California Democratic Chair Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman announced his resignation Thursday after allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate work place behavior.

Los Angeles Times report surfaced Wednesday that said 10 California Democratic Party (CDP) staffers and political activists had accused him of making lewd, sexual comments to them in the workplace or that Bauman had touched them without their permission.

Bauman, 59, said in response to this report that he’d be seeking treatment for health issues and alcohol abuse.

“I have made the realization that in order for those to whom I may have caused pain and who need to heal, for my own health, and in the best interest of the Party that I love and to which I have dedicated myself for more than 25 years, it is in everyone’s best interest for me to resign my position as chair of the California Democratic Party,” Bauman said in a statement, according to the LA Times.

The sexual misconduct allegations came after Bauman, the Democratic Party’s first openly gay chairman, was accused of unspecified misconduct and had taken a leave of absence. (RELATED: California Dem Chair Looking Into Alcoholism Treatment After Numerous Sexual Assault Allegations)

One female staffer recalled obscene comments Bauman made to her at a dinner in 2007, while a gay male staffer said Bauman asked about his sex life with his partner during professional interactions.

Staffers claimed they saw the chairman drink alcohol frequently during the work day, even though CDP rules prohibit alcohol consumption in the workplace or on official duties, the LA Times reported.

Other accusations include the chairman discussing which men he had sex with and mocking staff members about their sexual orientations and physical appearances numerous times.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 14: Chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Eric Bauman (R) speaks onstage during the Yes on Prop 62 Coalition Announcement at Los Angeles Grand Park on July 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 14: Chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Eric Bauman (R) speaks onstage during the Yes on Prop 62 Coalition Announcement at Los Angeles Grand Park on July 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

The party’s vice chair Daraka Larimore-Hall referred to “a clear and escalating pattern of Chairman Bauman’s horrific and dehumanizing behavior” in a letter calling for Bauman’s resignation, the LA Times reported.

Bauman led the Los Angeles County Democratic Party from 2000 to 2017 before becoming the state’s party chairman.

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