California #MeToo leader accused of sexual misconduct

FILE - In this June 22, 2016 file photo, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D- Bell Gardens, speaks at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Garcia, the head of California's legislative women's caucus and a leading figure in the anti-sexual harassment movement is herself the subject of a sexual misconduct claim, Politico reported Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Rich Pedroncelli

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a California assemblywoman accused of sexual misconduct (all times local):

10:18 a.m.

A California assemblywoman who has been accused of sexual misconduct says she's taking a voluntary, unpaid leave of absence while the claim is investigated.

Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens announced her leave on Friday, a day after the allegation became public. Daniel Fierro, a former staff member for another lawmaker, says Garcia groped him in 2014 after a legislative softball game.

Garcia says she is "certain" she did not engage in such behavior.

Garcia has been a vocal leader of the #Me-too movement that's prompted two California lawmakers to resign and put another on suspension.

She says she's taking a leave of absence to avoid distraction and any appearance of influence over the investigation. Fierro declined to comment on Garcia's decision.

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