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California Democratic leader seeks alcohol treatment amid sexual misconduct investigation

Eric Bauman: ‘Democrats are for the people’

Eric Bauman, chair of the Los Angeles Democratic Party, speaks to activists Feb. 28, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. Bauman is running for state party chair to replace John Burton in 2017.
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Eric Bauman, chair of the Los Angeles Democratic Party, speaks to activists Feb. 28, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. Bauman is running for state party chair to replace John Burton in 2017.

Eric Bauman, the chair of the California Democratic Party, said Wednesday that he would seek unspecified treatment for health problems and alcohol abuse while he is under investigation by the party for alleged sexual misconduct.

“The events of the last few days have given me the opportunity to reflect on my actions and their potential effect on other people. I deeply regret if my behavior has caused pain to any of the outstanding individuals with whom I’ve had the privilege to work,” Bauman said in a statement. “I appreciate the courage it took for these individuals to come forward to tell their stories.”

“I will use the time I am on leave to immediately seek medical intervention to address serious, ongoing health issues and to begin treatment for what I now realize is an issue with alcohol,” he added. “Leading the California Democratic Party to historic victories has been the honor of a lifetime, and I look forward to continuing this important work upon the conclusion of the investigation and when my health allows.”

Bauman took a leave of absence from his position overseeing party operations on Monday, days after one of his deputies called for his removal over charges of sexual harassment and assault. The party has hired an outside investigator to conduct a review of the allegations.

The first openly gay leader of the California Democratic Party, he issued Wednesday’s statement in response to a story in the Los Angeles Times that detailed complaints of sexually explicit remarks and unwanted touching by male and female staff members.

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