Capitol Alert

California lawmaker’s aide rebuked in sexual harassment investigation

A former aide to a California state lawmaker made inappropriate comments to colleagues, according to a report released Monday by an office the Legislature created to investigate sexual harassment complaints.

The heavily redacted report included two allegations against Hannah Cho, who previously served as district director for state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles. The complaints were brought by two women whose names were not released.

Cho allegedly made inappropriate comments about a colleague’s chest and questioned whether a bandage was covering a hickey, according to the report.

Cho has since resigned from her position and now works as the senior policy adviser to Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson. She did not immediately return The Bee’s requests for comment.

The allegations were reviewed and found to be substantiated by the Workplace Conduct Unit, an independent investigative panel Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat, helped launch last year.

Amid the national #MeToo movement, the unit was created to address sexual harassment problems within the Capitol community.

“This behavior is unacceptable in the Senate’s workplace,” Erika Contreras, secretary of the state Senate, wrote to Cho on Sept. 5. “Although you have ended your employment with the Senate, we expect that you will keep these standards in mind should you have future business with the Senate and its employees.”

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Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.