A former high-ranking staff member in the California Assembly sexually harassed a colleague over the course of a year and a half, according to an internal investigation released Wednesday, including forcibly kissing her on the lips on one occasion.
It is the second time in less than a year that the Assembly has a substantiated a complaint against Pedro Reyes, the former chief consultant to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Reyes could not be reached for comment.
He was a longtime board member of Sacramento’s Golden 1 Credit Union, serving for a period as its chairman. In an email, Golden 1 said Reyes submitted his resignation from the board of directors on Feb. 2 and the board accepted on March 1.
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Last November, the Assembly human resources director spoke with Reyes about complaints that he had made several employees feel uncomfortable with hugs and sexually suggestive comments about their appearance. Reyes was reminded of the Assembly’s sexual harassment policy and apologized for his behavior, according to a memo released in February.
Less than a month later, Reyes retired from the Assembly.
In March, another complaint was filed by an unnamed female employee, alleging that Reyes sometimes hugged her tightly and nuzzled his face into her neck. Once, he put his hands up the back of her shirt, told her that she smelled good and told her that she looked sexy, according to the complaint. Another time, Reyes grabbed her face with both of his hands and forcibly kissed her, she said.
Reyes declined to be interviewed for the investigation, according to a letter sent to him last month confirming that the Assembly found he had “engaged in inappropriate and unwelcome behavior.” Although he is no longer an employee, Chief Administrative Officer Debra Gravert wrote, he is expected to comply with the Assembly’s sexual harassment policy when dealing with staff members in the future.