Facing undisclosed charges of sexual misconduct, California Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman on Monday said he would step down from his position during the course of an investigation into his actions.
“After taking the holiday weekend to consider the most constructive path forward for the work of the California Democratic Party, Chair Bauman has made the decision to take a leave of absence as Party Chair effective at 5:00 pm today and through the conclusion of the independent investigation being conducted by a respected outside investigator,” spokesman Mike Roth said in a statement. ““Chair Bauman believes this decision is the best way to ensure the independence and integrity of the process. The Party is confident that the procedures in place will allow for all parties to come forward freely and provide for a thorough and complete review.”
Daraka Larimore-Hall, the party’s third in command, last week initiated the process to remove Bauman as chair after learning of multiple incidents in which Bauman allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted individuals at party events. He wrote in a letter to the party leadership that the victims’ “stories illustrate a clear and escalating pattern of Chairman Bauman’s horrific and dehumanizing behavior.”
The letter did not provide further details about the accusations, citing the alleged victims’ privacy. Larimore-Hall has not responded to multiple efforts to reach him for comment.
On Saturday, after the complaint became public, Bauman announced that it had been turned over to an outside investigator.
During his leave, Alexandra Gallardo Rooker, the first vice chair of the party, will assume Bauman’s role overseeing the day-to-day operations of the party.