Statement from President pro Tempore and President pro Tempore-designee

Thursday, February 22, 2018

SACRAMENTO – California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D- Los Angeles) and President pro Tempore-designee Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) released the following statement regarding the resignation of Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia):

“By forcing this outcome, this State Senate has sent a loud and unmistakable message that our employees will be protected, that we will lead by example, and that no one Senator is above the law or our code of conduct.

“We take no joy in a colleague’s resignation, but this was clearly the right and just outcome for this Senate, our employees and the taxpayers we serve.

“This Senate conducted a full, fair and independent investigation – and what it found was clear and convincing evidence of a pattern of inappropriate behavior, even after unambiguous warnings.

“This process and outcome are the result of a long-overdue culture change in our house. We owe every employee the ironclad guarantee that we as an institution will not tolerate harassment – nor will we silence those with the courage to come forward and report it.  The days of biting our tongue, turning a blind eye or sweeping misconduct under the rug are over.

“We thank every Senator on both sides of the aisle – especially Members of Rules Committee and our independent investigative team – for their thoughtful, fair and even-handed approach to this difficult situation – and hope that, working together, this is the beginning of a new era of accountability that will help restore employee confidence in our process and workplace protections.”      

VIDEO: Remarks by Senate Leader de León on the Senate floor