The first openly gay Chairman of California’s Democratic Party, Eric C. Bauman, has stepped down from his position to allow the party to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
On Friday, Daraka Larimore-Hall, the second vice-chair of the party, filed paperwork requesting Bauman’s removal and prompting the investigation.
Larimore-Hall says he has spoken to two victims, plus a witness Bauman allegedly intimidated. The victims were party staff members.
In his letter, Larimore-Hall stated, ‘I believe the victims. Their stories illustrate a clear and escalating pattern of Chairman Bauman’s horrific and dehumanizing behavior.
‘This is unacceptable for a political organization dedicated to feminism, human rights and just working working conditions. Our activists and voters look to us as a force for social change, and we must embody the values we fight for in society.’
He did not reveal any details about the alleged incidents.
Bauman became chair of the California Democratic Party in May 2017. It is the largest State Democratic Party in the US. Previous to that, Bauman was vice chair from 2009-2017. His professional background prior to this was in nursing. He lives in North Hollywood with his husband.
After Larimore-Hall’s letter became public, several other California Democrats asked for Bauman to step down. These included Rep. Ro Khanna (of California’s 17th congressional district). Khanna tweeted: The allegations of sexual assault that @DarakaKenric is filing against @EricBauman are shocking.’
He suggested Bauman should be replaced with Stanford Profession Michele Dauber, ‘one of the nation’s foremost scholars on sexual harassment & led the Persky recall campaign,’ said Khanna. ‘We need a bold feminist to lead for 2020.’
On Saturday night, Bauman issued the following statement in response to the allegations.
‘I take seriously any allegation brought forward by anyone who believes they have been caused pain. To that end, a prompt, thorough and independent investigation of the allegations has been undertaken by a respected outside investigator, ensuring these individuals making the charges are treated with respect and free from any concerns of retaliation.
‘I look forward to putting these allegations behind us and moving forward as unified Democrats.’