Capitol Alert

Assemblyman removed from committee posts over claims he abused his wife

Assemblyman Roger Hernández lost all of his committee assignments Friday after a judge granted a restraining order sought by his former wife, who alleges that she was repeatedly abused by the Baldwin Park Democrat, a candidate for Congress.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, announced the changes early Friday evening, saying “domestic abuse is deplorable.”

“Today, after a thorough process, the judge reviewing the allegations against Assemblyman Roger Hernández stated that she found those allegations credible,” Rendon said in a statement. “Assemblymember Hernández has problems in his personal life that need to be addressed, and he should focus on resolving them.

“Accordingly, I will be removing Assemblymember Hernández from his committee assignments in the Assembly.”

The move ousts Hernández as chairman of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, as well as from seats on several other panels, including the influential appropriations and governmental organization committees.

Hernández’s office was not immediately available for comment Friday.

The judge’s decision follows a temporary restraining order against Hernández in April.

Amid bitter divorce proceedings, Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Susan Rubio claimed in court papers that Hernández had “a long history of physical, emotional and psychological abuse” and had pushed, hit and choked her, as well as “pulled me by the hair, wrapped a belt around my neck and destroyed many of my personal belongings.”

Hernández has denied the allegations, calling them “100 percent fabrication.” He linked Rubio’s actions to bitterness about the breakup of the couple’s marriage and attempts to sabotage his campaign for the Covina-based 32nd Congressional District.

Hernández finished second in the June 7 primary, according to unofficial results, and will face Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, in November.

“The issue of domestic violence is very serious and should never be taken lightly,” Hernández said in a May statement. “The allegations against me are politically motivated and strategically timed to damage my name and my reputation as voters in the San Gabriel Valley are considering who should be their next representative to the United States Congress.”

Rubio and Hernández’s divorce became final Friday, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

Friday’s move by Rendon didn’t go as far as some lawmakers had wanted.

In April, the leaders of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus called on Hernández to take a leave of absence from the Assembly. Hernández refused, saying he continued to have the support of most of his female colleagues.

Weeks later, Republican elected officials demanded that Hernández resign.

Hernández has faced previous allegations of violent behavior toward women. In 2012, a woman who said she had dated Hernández alleged that he struck her with a belt and slammed her against a wall. Hernández denied the allegations and was never charged.

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