In a lawsuit filed Monday in Sacramento County Superior Court, two former California Democratic Party (CDP) employees and an activist are suing the CDP and its former Chairman Eric Bauman. The suit is claiming that Bauman discriminated against former CDP operations director Tina McKinnor because she is black and the suit also claims that Bauman groped and sexually harassed former CDP communications director John Vigna.
According to a report published Monday by the Los Angeles Times, the complaint also alleges that the CDP retaliated against McKinnor and Vigna for helping another employee file a sexual harassment complaint against Bauman when it fired them in December.
The lawsuit is the second filed against the party and Bauman in two weeks and the third legal action against both since he resigned in November following allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior toward party staff members and activists.
A third plaintiff, party activist Spencer Dayton, alleges in the suit that he was groped on at least two occasions by Bauman.
A currently serving staff member of the CDP had filed a lawsuit last Wednesday, April 24, in Los Angeles Superior Court against Bauman alleging sexual misconduct In the suit, William Floyd, 28, who had served as Bauman’s assistant from March 2016 until November 2018, claimed Bauman performed oral sex on him without his consent on at least three occasions.
Bauman, the first out LGBTQ CDP chair, resigned his post last November after 10 staff members and political activists alleged sexual harassment and misconduct in a story by the Times. Those interviewed by the paper claimed Bauman “made crude sexual comments and engaged in unwanted touching or physical intimidation in professional settings.”
Neal S. Zaslavsky, an attorney for Bauman, said his client had not been served with the lawsuit as of Monday afternoon.
“Mr. Bauman has not yet seen this lawsuit, and once again, we have only learned of its existence through media inquiries,” Zaslavsky told the Times. “It is therefore premature for Mr. Bauman to have any further comment. As with the other pending matters, Mr. Bauman will not be trying this case in the media.”
Alexandra “Alex” Gallardo Rooker, the acting chair of the California Democratic Party, declined to comment through a spokesperson.
“We find it curious that the complainants decided to share the complaint with the media before it was filed or served,” Rooker said. “In any event, the CDP will not be commenting on pending litigation. 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.”
Reporting by the Los Angeles Times and the staff of the Los Angeles Blade