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Former Mendoza Staffer Who Reported Misconduct Sues California Senate, Alleging Retaliation

In this Feb. 24, 2018 file photo, former California State Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) speaks at a caucus held at the 2018 California Democrats State Convention in San Diego.


A former California Senate staffer has filed a lawsuit alleging she was fired in retaliation for complaining that former Sen. Tony Mendoza sexually harassed a young woman working in his office through a fellowship program.

Mendoza's former legislative director Adriana Ruelas filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court. She was one of three aides fired from Mendoza's office in September 2017.

Mendoza resigned Feb. 22 after investigators found he likely engaged in unwanted "flirtatious or sexually suggestive" behavior with six women, including the fellow. He's denied wrongdoing.

The same investigators said the three aides were fired for reasons other than their sexual misconduct complaints.

Senate officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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