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With Investigation Complete, Mendoza's Fate Now In Senate Colleagues' Hands

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Members and staff of the California Senate Rules Committee prepare to meet in closed session on Friday, February 16, 2018, to discuss the sexual harassment investigation into Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Whittier).

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The California Senate has formally received the sexual harassment investigation into Los Angeles County Democrat Tony Mendoza conducted by outside lawyers – and his fate now lies with his colleagues.

The five-member Senate Rules Committee discussed the report in closed session Friday for nearly two hours.

The committee members will digest the findings over the holiday weekend and meet again Tuesday to vote on a recommendation to the full Senate.

That could range from censure, which requires a majority vote, to suspension with or without pay, or expulsion – all of which would take a two-thirds vote.

If there is a recommended disciplinary action, it would be taken up by the full Senate on Thursday and Mendoza would be able to contest the proposal on the Senate floor.

Rules committee members – including Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) – declined to discuss the report, although incoming pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) says she has full confidence in it.

A spokesman for Mendoza says neither the senator nor his lawyers or staff have been told the investigation is complete or informed of its findings.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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