An update on a post made on Tuesday . . .
By Jordan Graham | A former legislative staffer filed a legal claim against the state on Friday accusing two Southern California assemblywomen of steering contracts away from his political consulting business in retaliation for sexual harassment allegations he leveled against one of the legislators earlier this year.
Daniel Fierro, who in February accused Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) of drunkenly groping him at a Sacramento softball game in 2014, now says Garcia and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) punished him by dissuading other politicians from hiring his firm. In his claim, he says he will seek $1 million in damages.
Both assemblywomen denied the allegations in prepared statements issued Friday.
“The ongoing claims that are being made are false,” Garcia said. “They are yet another example of the litany of lies against me because of my advocacy and work for the #metoo movement, environmental justice, and good government. I’m confident the truth will continue to vindicate me.”
“Any claim that I have retaliated against anyone is categorically false,” Quirk-Silva said. “I welcome a complete and thorough review of all evidence, or lack thereof, in this matter and pledge to fully cooperate and help in any manner I can.”
The Assembly Rules Committee is investigating the accusations as part of a probe into Fierro’s original complaint against Garcia, according to a letter Fierro received in August. That letter states the committee hired an attorney to conduct the investigation. Quirk-Silva’s campaign spokesman confirmed Friday that the assemblywoman had been contacted as part of the expanded inquiry.
Fierro’s claim accuses assembly members Garcia and Quirk-Silva, as well as Quirk-Silva’s husband, Fullerton councilman Jesus Silva, of attempting to silence Fierro by pressuring local candidates seeking elected office not to hire his political consulting firm. Silva did not return a call for comment.
The claim describes efforts by Quirk-Silva and Silva to persuade Fullerton City Council candidate Ahmad Zahra to drop Fierro as his campaign consultant. According to the claim, Silva expressed concern during a face-to-face meeting on June 14 that Zahra had hired Fierro, saying “We’re strong supporters of Cristina.” Two days later, at a community event, Quirk-Silva directed Zahra to fire Mr. Fierro, making it clear such a move would be in his “best political interests,” the claim states.
To continue reading on the Orange County Register website, click here.