LOS ANGELES, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra announced Monday that he would resign immediately in response to sexual harassment allegations against him.
Bocanegra is one of the top Democrats in the State Assembly of the western U.S. state of California, serving as the majority whip. He became the first California politician to leave office amid a spate of sexual misconduct scandals rocking the state political circles.
Bocanegra had previously announced that he would resign on Sept. 1 2018 when the current legislative session ends, following a report of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct published by Los Angeles Times last week.
"Upon further reflection during the recent holiday weekend, and conversations with family, friends, supporters, I have decided to resign earlier from the State Assembly effective immediately, which was my original intention," said Bocanegra in a statement posted on Facebook.
"By doing so I hope the community will have a new representative sooner rather than later. Furthermore, it is my hope that in taking this action we can help clear the path so that women and men who have been truly victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment can step forward and get justice for any crimes committed against them," he said.
"While I am not guilty of any such crimes, I am admittedly not perfect," he added.
Californian Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon removed Bocanegra from his position as majority whip and stripped him of his committee assignments. Rendon was quoted as saying by City News Service that Bocanegra's resignation "underscores the seriousness of the allegations against him" and the Assembly continues "working to change the climate in the Capitol to stop sexual harassment and abuse."